Community staying #DaytonStrong two months after tornadoes


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Some victims of the Memorial Day tornado outbreak say they are finding road-blocks to recovery two months after the storms.

“We had our first estimate done on June 18 on the house which was $13,000 and we’re still at square one,” shared Lonnie Hetzel a tornado victim living in the Northridge community.

Hetzel and his family have been living on the corner of Wagner Ford and I-75 for at least 20 years. Following the tornadoes, they say they have applied for FEMA assistance at least four times since June but have been denied. The family also didn’t have homeowners insurance and say they didn’t know where to turn to repair their damaged home.

That’s when they received a call from several churches in the area who wanted to give back.

“Today we’re scraping and painting and making sure that this house…is restored completely so that people have hope,” said Wayne Botkin the co-pastor of Mosaic Church and volunteer.

Members of Mosaic Church, New City Church and other local ministries banded together to repair the Hetzel’s home.

“We want to make sure that the Northridge community knows that we are here for the long term,” said Botkin.

The long-term effects of the tornadoes are now being seen. Dozens have relocated and not returned to their homes, jobs and schools have been affected and people like the Hetzel’s are hoping for relief from the stress daily.

But the phrase “Dayton-strong” continues to echo as are reminder for communities to band together as there is strength in numbers.

Click here for more information on FEMA assistance if you’ve been declared ineligible.

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