ALTO STRONG: Tornado victims struggle to rebuild despite promises of help

Local News

RUSK, Texas (KETK) – Freshman Congressman Lance Gooden held a town hall to meet with constituents in Rusk on Tuesday afternoon.

The library holding the town hall was packed with people wanting to hear from Representative Gooden.

Gooden spoke about major issues being tackled in Washington D.C. and local impact.

This meeting comes just three months after tornadoes hit East Texas, including cities that fall within his district.

“One of my pledges during my campaign was to make sure that I’m accessible to everyone across my house district,” says Representative Gooden.

Alto is just one of the cities that fall in his district.

“They’re recovering but it’s difficult,” explains Representative Gooden.

When tornadoes ravaged the small community in April, many looked to their elected officials, like Congressman Gooden, for help.

“When I’m in Washington whether I’m at home or there and something like this happens, my first call is generally to the County Judge and I say what is it that we can do,” says Representative Gooden.

Two days after the devastating storms, Gooden tweeted that his thoughts and prayers are with Cherokee County.

“The people of Alto are strong, they’re resilient,” describes Representative Godden, with people like Goldie Mickey in mind.

One Alto homeowner described the April event and how they are still recovering.

“I was in there in the bed and I said oh my gosh. I don’t know what that is. A tree went through my living room,” says Mickey.

At first glance, it seems like a normal home, but just off to the side, you can still see the damage left from three months ago.

“This is from the porch and that piece on the top is from the storage building,” explains Mickey, as she walks around her house.

When asked what lawmakers are doing to help tornado victims, Congressmen Gooden shifted the focus to officials in the area.

“I know it’s difficult and my heart goes out to them, and I want them to know that I’m involved and accessible, but their local leaders have really done a fantastic job,” explains Representative Gooden.

While debris continues to sit in Mickey’s yard, she says it serves as a physical reminder that all lawmakers should see, first hand.

Much of the meeting was spent discussing the border. Representative Gooden explained his push for a bill against human trafficking. Going into detail, that the bill would require a DNA test to prove family members are related.

Gooden spoke on how the next election is critical to see any change at the border. He continued with the 2020 election, and how he believes President Trump should remain in office.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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