Pregnant employee rides out tornado at Deer Park skate rink

As decontamination efforts continue throughout Pasadena and Deer Park, stories of survival are growing. It’s been a week since his devastating EF-3 tornado hit the area.

Deer Park, Texas — Tuesday marked a week since the devastating EF-3 tornado hit Pasadena and Deer Park.

For many, the recovery effort is just beginning, and for some families who have lost almost everything, it will be a long road.

At Skate World in Deer Park, work is underway to restore one of the city’s most beloved businesses.

“If it had happened on Saturday, it would have been the worst,” said owner Jay Malone.

A tornado blew through a brick wall and tore off a roof on Tuesday.

“We’ve lost a wall of cinder blocks that’s 14 feet high and 180 feet long,” Malone said.

Roller skating rinks are usually packed with children and families. However, the manager, Natalie Garrett, was alone that day.

“Those disco balls sucked and then came back,” Garrett said.

As the wind picked up and the roof began to peel off, her maternal instinct kicked in and she did everything she could to protect her seven-month pregnancy. The first thing she did was snuggle up inside her DJ booth.

“I crouched, put my hood on, wrapped my hands around my belly, and stayed in the corner,” Garrett said. “I was just screaming bloody murder.”

It didn’t last more than a few minutes, but the terror was enough to start labor.

“He will always be known for experiencing tornadoes,” said Garrett.

Her son, Cody, is safe and not due for another few weeks.

“The bones are there,” Malone said of his business.

Everyone is doing what they can to help Skateworld get back on its feet, so half a century of memories aren’t lost.

“We’ll rebuild it better,” Malone said. “If I don’t rebuild this place, some people will go nuts. .”

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