TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – The Mayor of Trotwood gave her State of the City address Monday, three weeks after tornadoes ripped through the community.
City, county and state officials also took questions from residents during a panel discussion on the recovery efforts.
As debris cleanup comes to a close, Mayor Mary McDonald said, the focus is shifting to long-term recovery.
“Trotwood is cleaned up,” she said. “What we’re doing now is helping some of our citizens, typically our older citizens, to be able to get the debris from behind their houses.”
Mayor McDonald announced Monday night that the city has established a disaster relief fund to provide assistance to residents impacted by the tornadoes who want to stay in Trotwood.
Donations can be made at any Fifth Third Bank to the “Trotwood disaster relief fund” or sent to the Trotwood government center on Olive Road, the mayor said.
According to the city manager, nearly 500 homes were damaged, and dozens more were destroyed. More than 850 rental units were destroyed, he added.
“We’re still working to make sure that our citizens are working to find themselves housing and that’s taken care of,” McDonald said. “And then we’re again assessing and waiting to see what happens as a result of the FEMA.”
Many residents at Monday’s meeting asked about potential FEMA assistance. While the president has yet to respond to the governor’s request for help, state and county emergency management officials told residents the wait is not unusual.
“At this point, certainly it is not yet a overly long period of time that we have not heard back,” said Jeff Jordan, Montgomery County EMA director. “So we’re still within the range of normal.”
Mayor McDonald told the crowd that President Trump promised her that Trotwood would be taken care of during their recent phone conversation.
Residents who spoke with 2 NEWS said they remain hopeful for Trotwood’s future.
“I would just hope that we would move forward expeditiously because all of the individuals here pretty much said that they are in the position to assist Trotwood as much as they possibly can,” said Sonja Cherry, whose home was damaged in the tornado.
The city is also ramping up efforts to get new housing developed on the old Salem Mall site, Mayor McDonald said, which officials envision as a mixed-use area of homes and businesses. The city is working to reach out to developers across the nation, according to officials.