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Tornado affects businesses in Laguna Heights, Cameron County hoping for federal assistance

9 months 2 days 17 hours ago Monday, May 22 2023 May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023 1:45 PM May 22, 2023 in News - Local

After a tornado tore through Laguna Heights on May 13, Cameron County officials and community members are hoping for federal assistance to help people rebuild.

Graciela Garza was finally able to check on her beauty shop in Laguna Heights on Wilson Avenue. Her roof, walls and salon chairs all have water damage.

"All the water was standing here on all those places and then on there it was ripping down. The water was ripping down on that wall," Garza said.

She planned to have the salon open for another year, but between cost and the time to repair, she decided to close early.

"I'm sad because I'll miss all my customers that I had," Garza said.

The county has been stepping in to help people rebuild, and they hope to get more help through federal assistance.

Cameron County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Hushen says they are working to get a federal disaster declaration.

The amount of damage plays a role to get FEMA to come out.

"How many are out there that are destroyed and what the threshold is that FEMA would consider it to be a disaster," Hushen said.

In order for a federal declaration to happen, the county would need to meet criteria, one the county is still working on.

For now, Garza is closing one chapter on her business, but she's beginning a new dream to build a bigger home for her daughter. She's hoping more help is on the way.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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