WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — All of Texoma felt the impact of the powerful winds and downbursts from last Thursday, August 10, 2023. Many businesses, like some in Rio Vista Plaza at Loop 11 and Seymour Highway, were destroyed, while others were left without power for an extended period.
It’s been a busy few days of businesses trying to recover and move on from that knockout blow the storm delivered.
One is ready to work even harder to make back profits on lost produce while another is processing the damage before deciding what’s next.
And everything happens for a reason according to Pueblo Boxing founder Juan Escutia.
“Just processing everything that happened,” said Escutia.
He, along with other businesses at Rio Vista Plaza, lost everything after the downburst.
“When I look at the losses they’re pretty bad,” he said. “You know, we lost our building. They aren’t going to rebuild it.”
But losing the building barely fazes Escutia.
“When I think about the impact on our community, our mission was always to be a positive impact, and I think that mission was accomplished a long time ago,” Escutia continued. “So everything now is a plus.”
Escutia built champions of life through the sport of boxing, an impact he’s been able to do for more than five years in the community.
Escutia is still processing the loss and is uncertain about what the future holds for his gym.
On the east side, many went several hours without power, including Familia Gutierrez Restaurant.
“It was hard because we were out of most of the stuff,” said Rosa Villegas, owner of Familia Gutierrez Restaurant. “We couldn’t provide a full menu, but we tried our best with what we had.”
Villegas said she threw out meat and other produce after going almost a day with no power, the products she just stocked up on that are now gone without profit.
“Around 7:30 p.m. the power [came] back on but we had already trashed everything,” she continued. “There’s no going back to this, there’s no going back. on Friday night, whatever little I had stored back there in the freezers with the ice, we just cooked everything.”
Serving a limited menu just over the weekend, the community support has been amazing for the restaurant.
“It’s a big thank you to everybody in Wichita and surrounding areas that, they did come for us they did provide for us,” Villegas said. “But it’s hard picking yourself up from something like this.”
Additionally, the post office on Fifth Street is now resuming normal operations after being temporarily suspended due to the storm.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management is asking anyone who suffered losses and damage to report it in an online report.