Celina residents facing uphill battle with home repairs after tornado outbreak

Local News

CELINA, Ohio (WDTN) – Homeowners in Celina are facing tough decisions after the Memorial Day tornadoes.

The biggest question for many is whether they can save their homes at all.

Some houses look redeemable, meaning they can be fixed. However, residents like Kelli Clausen that thought they didn’t have to rebuild, are now facing tough decisions. 

“Right now it’s sort of like hurry up and wait. We hurried up to clean the debris up and now we are waiting,” said Clausen. 

What’s behind the waiting? It’s a mixture of contractors and insurance companies crunching numbers and trying to schedule appointments. 

“It’s mostly frustration. It just means it’s a longer time between now and when we can come back in here (the house). Right now just to repair, we are looking at 6 months. That’s Christmas time,” said Clausen. 

If the family has to rebuild, it could take more than a year to get back in a house. 

Companies like D.K. Contractor have been working from sun up to sun down, moving house to house.

“It has been very busy. Very busy. Mostly roofs and siding. Windows and doors,” said Danny Bingham, the owner of D.K Contractor. 

In all, more than 40 houses were destroyed in Celina because of the tornado outbreak. 

More than 100 houses were damaged. 

Several Celina-based contractors told 2 NEWS the wait for home repair work might be worth it.

They’ve already taken calls from people who received poor or incomplete work from out-of-town companies. 

“People are going to have to wait and pick some of the best contractors they can. Don’t get some of these contractors from out-of-town to take advantage of you,” said Bingham. 

Homer Chinn, a Celina resident told 2 NEWS reporter Ethan Fitzgerald that he waited to reach out to a contractor because he had less damage than some of his neighbors. 

Chinn says he couldn’t be prouder of how the community has rallied to help his neighbors through this hard time. 

“Without them coming together. We would have a real problem cleaning up. But everybody was out there sweeping or raking and picking up garbage,” said Chinn. 

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