‘Stuck’: Elgin neighbors face roadblocks two months after tornado


‘Rebuilding Elgin Festival’ to help tornado survivors

ELGIN, Texas (KXAN) — It’s been exactly two months since an EF-2 tornado ripped through the city of Elgin on Saturday with winds of 130 miles per hour.

Three were injured, according to the National Weather Service, but fortunately no one was killed.

While some survivors still face obstacles to recovery, their community is stepping up to help.

The Cielenckis had rubble strewn across their property, mangled roofs and torn fences when KXAN’s Tahera Rahman visited in March.

When she returned to visit on Saturday, Cielenckis was still waiting for parts so their cars could be repaired. Their garage roof is still mangled and there are still planks patching parts of their exterior walls.

They and their neighbor, Susan Carlson, say it is difficult to find workers for the projects and supplies for repairs and constructions. They also pay some bills while hoping the insurance covers others.

“You just have to decide what you want to put some of that money on and what you need to take out of your pocket,” Davina said.

“Sorting out the fixation,” adds Carlson.

“Trying to figure it all out day by day – do you ever feel like you’re stuck?” asked KXAN’s Tahera Rahman.

“Exactly. That’s a perfect word for it. Because we’re sitting here,” Carlson said. [sun]. And we have a hen that has laid eggs and has chicks under part of the door that was blown into the yard. So I mean, it’s the little things that are frustrating.

Local business owner Wes Callais knows what it’s like – he’s survived two hurricanes.

“It’s long, okay. Nothing happens overnight,” said Callais, who owns Gumbeaux Man.

That’s why he organized the Rebuilding Elgin Festival on Saturday.

“I felt like I had the mindset, the skills and the knowledge to help them, and to be proactive rather than reactive,” Callais said.

Proceeds from his crawfish sales and donated barbecue and raffle prizes are all donated to the Bastrop County Long-Term Recovery Team.

Meg Lauren flew in from Austin to perform music for the event.

“I also saw the devastation on the news and just wanted to be a part of something that was going to help this community,” she said.

These neighbors are grateful for the continued support, especially for others who they feel don’t have insurance or the money to pay the initial costs.

“We have to move money to pay for certain things and then hopefully the insurance will reimburse us and things like that. So it’s just slow, really slow,” Carlson said. “There are people worse off than us, though. So we really can’t complain too much.

Even though after all the fixes they know some things they just can’t get back.

“It was something that belonged to us and it’s something that disappeared or was destroyed,” Davina said as she wiped away tears. “It’s hard to put a price tag on some of these things that have gone missing.”


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