New data shows impact of tornadoes in Montgomery Co.

A Year of Recovery

HARRISON TWP, Ohio (WDTN) – A new tornado damage survey is providing a better understanding of impacts of the Memorial Day tornadoes.

Presented by Montgomery County Auditor Karl Kieth, the numbers showed there were more then 4,300 parcels of land damaged by tornadoes. Close to 90 percent were residential or agricultural properties. Ten percent were commercial or industrial properties. Broken down by jurisdiction, Harrison Township took the biggest hit with 42 percent of the damage. Trotwood has 25 percent share of damage. The city of Dayton hit third hardest with 19 percent of the damage.

Click here to see the full report from the auditor.

“These numbers represent devastating losses. They represent ultimately a loss of revenue for these communities,” said Kieth.

Keith said they also represent a tear in the community fabric.

“It’s tragic to the individual’s point of view. The person who’s lost their home,” Kieth said.

County adjusters are on the ground now for a closer look at damage. That second phase of the survey will help with property value deduction applications.

“This is just the tip of what we will be seeing when we report later on the impact on the actual value loss and the actual tax revenue loss,” Kieth said.

Keith is now reminding property owners to apply for a property tax deduction.

“It’s not right. It’s not fair for someone to pay a full tax bill for property that’s been damaged or destroyed,” Kieth said.

A simple form can be filled out to lower your first half tax bill.

Click here to learn more about the program.

In a typical year, there would only be a few dozen of these applications filed. This year, there are more than 400 filed so far with hundreds more expected.

Folks living in Harrison Township know first hand the impact of the storms. Aida Ortiz is one of the few people on her block who never had to leave her home. She has a crew working close to nonstop to get her home back in shape. Her gate, porch and vehicle were destroyed. Workers will be done with repairs sometime next week but she still has a vivid memory of the tornado that ripped through her neighborhood.

“In that moment, I heard something that I’m never going to forget. That sound was terrible. It’s like a big monster is going to eat you or like a train is going to hit your house.

Hiding in her closet with her husband and dog, she remembers the night of May 27.

One street over, Lori Hock also has people working on her home. She’s had to rebuild her garage from the ground up.

“They just finished my roof and patched up all holes. Now, they’re going to side the house. It’s just been total devastation and a nightmare. I’ve never seen anything like that,” Hock said.

Like many, they’re grateful for the help and support they’ve received. While both expect to have repairs finished soon, the road to full recovery will take years.

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