CommunityVeterans In Focus


Strong winds nearly blew veteran's home away

Posted at 8:36 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 22:28:41-04

ALICE, Texas — A Jim Wells County veteran, struggling with health problems, had his home damaged by severe storms earlier this year.

Ruben Segura lives in a mobile home on the outskirts of Alice. The last six or so years haven't been easy for him, and while he's persevered, his latest challenge is too much for him to shoulder alone.

“I try to do the best I can for myself, I live here by myself,” said Ruben Segura.

Segura was by himself early the morning of May 18, when severe storms shook his home.

“It sounded like there was a freight train on top of my trailer,” said Segura.

Segura thought it was a tornado, but the National Weather Service never confirmed a touchdown. Regardless, the experience was terrifying as Segura felt his home lift off the ground.

“I yelled out to God, when I yelled out to God, I felt it hit the ground,” said Segura. “I thank God I'm still alive and I still have a roof over my head.”

The roof was one of the few things relatively untouched. The wind moved Segura's trailer more than a foot, creating a gap between the door and his ramp.

There's damage everywhere. Outside, there’s debris under the trailer, while on the inside, his floor, once level, is now slanted. The storm also damaged his plumbing. He now uses a bucket under his kitchen sink to drain.

“It damaged my floor, the floor joists, the door frame (in the back), and my door frame in the front is also damaged,” said Segura.

“Even though he knows carpentry, he's legally blind and disabled, so doing the work himself is difficult,” said Michelle Valenzuela of Del Cielo Home Care.

Valenzuela is one of Segura's caregivers. While she’s only worked with him a couple months, she's worried for his safety.

Segura served in the U.S. Army from 1974-76. After that, he worked 45 years in the oil fields until in 2015 when he lost his job and insurance.

“They found that they had admitted me in the hospital, so I got terminated,” said Segura. “It was Hepatitis-C, the treatment cost $80,000.”

Those medical bills ate up most of his savings. Since then, he’s had several other ailments. He’s legally blind because of a dry retina, he uses a cane because of a number of automobile crashes.

Those ailments have left him unable to perform much of the physical work he needs done around his home.

Segura had just gotten his water back on from the February freeze three days before the storm hit his trailer. Another storm knocked out his power. Segura says he’s grateful to Scott Electric for getting the power on, especially his air conditioner.