CELINA, Ohio (WDTN) – Mercer County’s Emergency Management Agency Director believes FEMA’s help will surely be impactful for people and businesses hit by the tornado. However, folks in the area did not wait on that aid before starting the road to recovery.
Much of the larger debris is out of the way in Celina, now it’s time for people to get down and use their hands. That’s what S.I.G.N.S, a Kettering based youth group did on Tuesday.
“Thoughts and prayers only get you so far but they all have their work gloves and they’re walking the walk,” said Jill Chabut with the group.
S.I.G.N.S is made up of students from a number of Miami Valley worship communities and schools.
Steven Wellbaum, a recent graduate said, “Just being able to come here and help out as much as we can, seeing what they’ve been through is shocking.”
The teens are cleaned up a property for a homeowner to help them prepare to rebuild. They also gathered some lost sentimental items.
“I think this lesson for them is invaluable because they spoke with the homeowner and she explained how difficult this has all been,” Chabut said.
A few blocks over, Ron Snider is thankful for the help from volunteers like them.
“There was probably 50 people coming in and out of the house hauling debris out to the street and helping us clean up,” Snider said about the morning following the tornado.
Snider lost his home due to the tornado. All that was left behind was the foundation.
“We had to have a neighbor come over with a flashlight to help us out. I new right away there was no roof. t was all gone, several walls were caved in,” Snider said.
While groups like S.I.G.N.S help people get back on their feet, Snider is grateful for what he still has.
“Truly an inconvenience but we got out lives. I’m happy,” Snider said.
Mercer County EMA said FEMA can help with some rebuilding costs. Signing up to have a FEMA case worker guide you through the process is free.