Many tornado survivors staying put, despite challenges

Tornado Recovery

NORTHRIDGE, Ohio (WDTN) – Despite severe damage to dozens of homes, a few of them even bulldozed to the ground, some people are sticking it out in Northridge as they wait for insurance checks and FEMA aid to arrive. 

John Barber has lived in his Northridge home for 43 years. He says, “FEMA was here just this morning. And signed me up on it. They wanted to sign up as many people as they can for whatever they’re eligible for.” 

John thinks he has enough insurance coverage but is working with FEMA to make sure. “The settlement check I think will be adequate and will take care of my damage.” 

John’s damage is largely cosmetic, so he and his wife are staying in their home. Many of his neighbors are not, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to leave. 

Terry Weber says, “I’ve lived here in Northridge for going on 72 years and I have no reason to leave. I’m going to rebuild and replenish this place.” 

Repairs are underway on many of the homes in the neighborhood, but some will take longer than others, like John’s neighbor across the street. “He bought his house just three months ago and look at it. He’s a young fella, he’s got a lot of time to recover.” 

Terry says he’ll wait as long as it takes to get back to normal. “I don’t want to leave. When you have good neighbors like John and Tom over here, you don’t want to leave.” 

And John feels the same way, saying he’s in it for the long haul. “We’ll recover together here. They’ll carry me out and bury me, this is home.” 

Senator Sherrod Brown says he’s working with local governments to keep people from fleeing tornado-affected communities during the long rebuild process. 

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