Zone 3 Damage More Than Residents Expected - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Zone 3 Damage More Than Residents Expected


For the first time since the explosion West residents in zone three were allowed to see their homes. This is the first time this area has been opened to anyone to see what was left of their homes.

Zone three resident, Donald Cernosek told Texas report that he didn't expect to come home to a disaster.

He was home at the time of the blast and said he was knocked off his feet by the explosion. After checking on his elderly neighbor and her pet they evacuated and hadn't been back since.

Before residents were allowed back in, inspectors divided the homes into three categories. Green meaning safe, yellow is safe but restricted and orange means the home is unlivable.

Homeowner Amber Zahirniak says the sight of her home was unimaginable. "You have to be here to see it to be able to comprehend and wrap your brain around the thought of it. It's definitely worse then I imagined."

Nearly every house in the zone suffered structural damaged. Bricks were blown off, windows are shattered and roofs are now caved in after the blast.      

There was a range of damage along the streets. Total devastation was found in the areas closest to the fertilizer plant, including the leveled apartment complex and a home that was burnt to the ground. 

West mayor Tommy Muska says insurance agents were also allowed in to start their inspections.

"It's just the matter of getting some of their things out with their insurance companies looking at their houses assessing what the damage is. You know see if it's totaled, if it's not totaled, if it can be rebuilt," said Muska.

Even after all the chaos and destruction some residents say they're going to stay and rebuild while others aren't so sure.

"It'll be a while of course until everything gets cleaned up but I do plan on staying. I want my kids… this is their home. This is all they know," said Zahirniak.

We're trying to decide what to do. This is definitely a life changer but we… you know, it's going to be hard to leave," said Cernosek.

Trucks, trailers and moving vans lined the streets of zone three as residents tried to get what they could before the 7:00 p.m. Curfew.

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