Displaced families make slow return to tornado-damaged neighborhoods

Tornado Recovery

MERCER COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – The Mercer County Auditor reports more than $6 million in damage struck the country during the Memorial Day tornado outbreak, but most of the displaced families are hoping to come back.

This week marks six months since the tornadoes, and the sounds of construction can be heard in the neighborhoods that were devastated.

“I’d say 25 of the 50 destroyed homes have been started. Some people have been able to move back in but there’s a lot of homes that won’t be started until next spring or summer,” said Mercer County EMA Director Mike Robbins.

Ron Snider and his family have returned to the area and moved into their new home.

“Since the 27th of May, it’s been a bit chaotic in the neighborhood. I feel pretty fortunate that we got a pretty early start on building and putting together things inside, organizing, figuring out what we do have, what we don’t have,” he said.

All three of his closes neighbors also lost their homes and are in the process of rebuilding, but Snider says the majority of them are planning to move back. Adding, they would not have been able to make it through the devastation without their community.

“They’re still willing to help out as much as they can. The community support couldn’t have been better. The city has been great. I can’t say that it was anything more than neighbors helping neighbors, it’s been great,” he said.

In total, 107 properties in Mercer County were damaged, with nearly 50 of those total losses.

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