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'We want answers' | Dozens protest in Port Neches after TPC Group changes claims process

"I'm glad they're stepping up and I'm glad they're saying 'just answer my question.' That's all their asking, that's not much," Mayor Johnson said.

Dozens of people gathered outside the National Guard Armory in Port Neches to protest TPC Group's new claims process.

It took effect on February 7 and requires homeowners with property damage from the explosion to now go through three stages.

RELATED: TPC confirms changes to claims process for homeowners waiting for damage settlements

READ MORE | TPC Group's document explaining the claims payment process

Citizens voiced their displeasure on Sunday.

"I'm very upset because I don't need to be doing this," said Madeline Johnson, who lives a miles away from the TPC Group plant.

David Duval, who lives two miles away, told 12News on Sunday "I'm standing here because I want answers." 

In the crowd stood Port Neches Mayor Glenn Johnson. 

When asked about what he's heard lately from TPC Group, Johnson said, "nothing."

He told 12News even he can't get an answer from the TPC Group, who last week suddenly changed the way claims are being handled. 

"They deserve it because it's been over two months and I had been patient with TPC." Mayor Johnson said. "I'm not mad at them, I just think that they need to step up and do what's right." 

On Friday, the TPC Group announced that homeowners will now have to go through a three stage process for property damage settlement. 

It includes TPC Group only paying 25 percent of the total cost up front, before requiring homeowners to sign a contract with a licensed contractor for another 25 percent.

The additional 50 percent, according to their document, won't be paid until the repairs are finished. 

Dana Bush, who is Madeline Johnson's niece, say the change prompts more questions than answers.

"People are not happy about the fact of signing a waiver up front when we don't even know what they're going to hold up on their end of the bargain," Bush said.

She tells 12News that officials from TPC Group need to host a town hall meeting with the citizens of Port Neches and answer their questions. 

"We can't even get the TPC officials to come down here to talk to us," Bush said. "We want answers." 

Bush isn't alone.

"I have called and called for people to give me information and they have put me off and put me off," Madeline Johnson said.

Mayor Johnson says his community isn't asking much and is proud of the effort showcased on Sunday.

"I'm glad they're stepping up and I'm glad they're saying 'just answer my question.' That's all their asking, that's not much," Mayor Johnson said.

12News spoke with TPC spokesperson Sara Cronin over the phone on Friday and asked what led to the change. 

"It's making sure that we're providing the funds necessary to make those repairs. This enables proper assurance that those repairs on being made," Cronin said. 

12News looked at a couple of homes in Port Neches still reeling from November's blast. 

Some of Duval's ceiling remains missing and blue tape inside the home marks the damage still visible.   

"Come to find out they canceled my claim so now I call every 48 hours," Duval said. 

A few blocks away, Madeline Johnson is still adapting to the aftermath. 

The TPC Group explosion destroyed her windows and door.

Johnson tells 12News she had to pay out of her own pocket to get her garage fixed. 

"I need to get my house fixed so I can be an old lady again," Madeline Johnson said.

Citizens at Sunday's protest told 12News they simply want their homes fixed and believe TPC needs to be held accountable.  

"Protest if you want, hold your signs and say 'you're not happy,'" Mayor Johnson said. "I'm not happy."

Madeline Johnson says "They need to pay us for all the frustration they put all these people through, it's not right."

Duval tells us his community is going to continue to fight.   

"Right now, this isn't purple pride this is purple pissed," Duval said. 

Mayor Johnson plans to reach out to state officials like Judge Jeff Branick and Dade Phelan this week. 

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