WEST, Texas (KXAN) - Nothing's the same in this tiny Texas town. Even the idyllic corn fields sprout rubble from the plant.
Three and a half months after an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, most of the homes in the ground zero neighborhood are vacant, including the mayor's.
The blast killed fifteen, injured hundreds and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes.
Many of those who had something left of their home are choosing to reconstruct or repair. Several residents who had their homes leveled elected to rebuild right where their house once stood.
They say its all they know.
Michael Kostecka, along with his wife and girls lived in their home for 22 years. All that stands now is the daughters' playhouse. Headed to weekly therapy, he was too emotional to talk about it, but friends and survivors like Tommy Woodward come by to offer encouragement.
"They're coping with it. It's a disaster," said Woodward. "It even hurts me, I knew everybody in here plus the guys who lost their lives in the Fire Department. I knew everyone one of them."
A cross Kostecka dug out of the rubble has provided some comfort. He and his neighbors pray at it. It's about all they can do.
"The best thing is to pray with them," Woodward said. "If you need a shoulder its there."
On Thursday, President Obama called for new federal rules , regulations and inspections to avoid the kind of catastrophe that happened at the fertilizer plant that shattered the town of West in mid-April.
"It's never too late to have a plan so it will never happen in a town again," Woodward said.
They don't want anyone to go through what they have.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.