Your thoughts on West, Texas

Posted by Seleney on June 13, 2013, 4:47 p.m.

Now I’m not one to typically post political or anti-organization blogs but today I heard something that disturbed me today and I really want to hear what others think.

Only a few days after the Boston Marathon explosions a fertilizer plant in West, Texas (actual town) exploded. 15 were killed and somewhere from 160-200 injured. Additionally 150 buildings were destroyed or damaged including at least one school. Just to put the numbers out there, 2 died in the Boston marathon and 264 were injured. I am by no means saying one was worse than the other. That’s impossible to say with emotional and property damage to account for.

In the beginning FEMA was helping as in any other disaster and the President even visited Baylor for a memorial service and issued a statement saying, “My Administration, through FEMA and other agencies, is in close contact with our state and local partners on the ground to make sure there are no unmet needs.â€? However, FEMA has now decided that the explosion “is not of the severity and magnitude that warrants a major disaster declaration,â€? and has denied additional public and individual aid.

Boston, being such a famous and iconic city has already raised millions upon millions to aid individual and public efforts. I’m not saying that’s compensation for what happened; just that it is at least a start to getting people’s lives put back together.

West, however is a small Texas town with no way to raise the $57 million they would need to repair the damage. It is 18 miles north of Waco, home to Baylor University, home to some of the best years of my life. To us, West was the Czech republic of Texas with some of the best (real) klatches in the state. It was a popular destination for those who enjoyed early morning drives and or mini vacations from the university.

Now I don’t know the exact reasons behind the denial of assistance whether it be political, state bias, or economic, but whatever it is, it doesn’t seem ‘right.’ I just wanted a place to discuss this where no-one is constrained by any particular political or location bias. We have people from all over the place here, so what do you think? I want your honest opinion.

Please forgive me if I broke any unstated rules with this blog.


Glen 10 years, 11 months ago

Honestly, I never heard of the incident in West, Texas. The media focused more on Boston.

Seleney 10 years, 11 months ago

That's the sad thing isn't it? A town pretty much destroyed and nobody knew but people IN Texas.

firestormx 10 years, 11 months ago

I heard about it in Canada, and I'm pretty sure Stevenup heard about it in Ireland.

I'd say the reason that Boston gets more sympathy from people, is that "someone did that to Boston", while "something happened to West".

I hadn't heard about FEMA pulling out of helping West, though. That's awful. =/

Edit: Just to clarify, I just think those are the reasons, not that it's justifiable to say Boston "deserves" more sympathy.

Kamira 10 years, 11 months ago

As I was driving back from class yesterday, they were talking about this on the radio and I thought it was weird that this was resurfacing. They said a lot of what you just said. Apparently, the mayor of West is really mad at Obama right now for the lack of support. But what's $57 million to our government? That's nothing. They're willing to spend so much on everything else, including helping people in other countries, that they won't help their own people? Sad.

Also, the morning after the event I went to donate some extra shirts but they weren't taking any more because Baylor students had already given way more than they already needed. Same with blood, the lines to donate blood were really long for days. I thought that was pretty cool.

JuurianChi 10 years, 11 months ago

I had read about this happening, and we even got an alert about it on IRC.

Why would FEMA decide, with all of it's recources, not to send any help required to any community that requires it?

Then again, thinking politically, Texas and Boston have different laws, protocols, and possibly even aid eligibility requirements which is balls awful.

Apparently, the mayor of West is really mad at Obama right now for the lack of support.

Thanks Obama.


SleepinJohnnyFish 10 years, 11 months ago

I know it's nit-picky, but 3 people died in Boston, not 2.

LAR Games 10 years, 11 months ago

Wow. That's awful.

I don't know if it's appropriate to ask this now, but I"m genuinely very curious. How does the air smell after the explosion? Is it worse than (what I think) it usually smells like in the area?

Seleney 10 years, 11 months ago

3 people died in Boston, not 2

I apologize, the sources I checked said 2.

DesertFox 10 years, 11 months ago

We used to swing by the Czech stop and get food on TSA (Technology Students Association) road trips in high school :( I always got kolaches/klobasniky.

eagly 10 years, 11 months ago

The incident in West was all over the news here in England. I assumed it would be the same in America. :(