The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

November 22, 2013

Tornado zone bouncing back into shape


“I thought there would be stuff laying around forever. We’ve seen high school kids down here digging in. It’s wonderful to live in a community that works together.”

Skomp’s day care is closed while she tries to get it repaired. “I haven’t seen my insurance guy yet, but my contractor is already busy working on the building,” she said. “I think we ought to be able to reopen the Monday after Thanksgiving.”

One thing the massive and quick response has created is a sense of hope that the neighborhood will return to normal sooner than later.

“These people have done a marvelous job of getting things at least half-way back to normal,” said Skomp. “I think in a month people will feel a lot closer to normal again.”

The city still is taking efforts to keep the momentum moving on the recovery. “We are going to keep the streets closed in the area during the day so that our volunteers can continue to work,” said Wellman. “We just want people to avoid driving through there so that we can keep our volunteers safe.”

Even with the rubble and debris gone there are still plenty of reminders in the neighborhood of the tornado. Houses have tarps on their roofs and several appear so badly damaged that they will most likely have to be demolished. “It’s going to be up to the individual home and business owners on what they are going to do with those properties and how quickly they take action,” said Wellman.

The recovery effort now looks like it will be wrapped up in a matter of days instead of weeks. “It has just been humbling to see the out pouring of volunteers and business donations, and help from church groups,” said Wellman. “Everybody pitches in to help.”

“This just shows that we live in a great place,” said Skomp.

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