Tornado cleanup, rebuilding efforts continue in Harrison Township

A Year of Recovery

HARRISON TWP., Ohio (WDTN) – While some property owners in Harrison Township have finished their repairs, others are still in the process of cleanup and rebuilding.

Piles of debris and dumpsters are still seen near Wagner Ford Road and across the township.

The site of Evonne Moore’s former apartment building in Harrison Township is now an empty field with scattered piles of rubble. She still calls it home – even after relocating to Dayton.

“I don’t even use that address as home because that’s not where I live,” Moore said. “That’s where I sleep right now, but it’s not home.”

Moore and her daughter lived at the Rivers Edge Apartments for five years. She didn’t have renter’s insurance when the tornado destroyed their apartment, she said.

A year after the storm, she still doesn’t have a car.

“We have a really good transit system,” Moore said. “But some of the freedom is gone.”

Evonne’s son Errin still lives in a unit across the street that was not damaged.

“Driving around the city as a whole, they’ve come a long way, but a lot still needs to be done,” he said.

Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck told 2 NEWS the damaged buildings left behind are still prone to problems.

“About an hour ago, there was a dispatch for people removing appliances out of a vacant house,” Streck said.

The pandemic put some rebuilding efforts on hold this spring, and complete recovery could take three to five years, according to Cathi Spaugy, Harrison Township development director.

“There are now new opportunities, basically, with the redevelopment of areas, business and residential, that are going to make the township a better, stronger community,” Spaugy said.

Harrison Township officials are hoping to relaunch some of the volunteer cleanup and rebuilding efforts sometime this summer, Spaugy said.

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