HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – As many continue to rebuild after the tornado outbreak last Memorial Day, The United Way says there’s still years of recovery ahead for some.
Harrison Township resident Jill Hollon can still remember every detail from the evening of May 27, 2019.
“You walk upstairs, you turn the corner and your house is gone, it’s still very emotional, it was a very scary time,” Hollon said.
The tornado, tearing off doors, windows and an entire wall from her Harrison Township home.
Hollon said they began rebuilding after the tornado with a lot of help from others.
“All of a sudden, here comes this hand, here I’ll help you do that, I’ll help you do that,” Hollon said. “Soon your house is rebuilt, your neighbor’s houses are rebuilt.”
One nonprofit that helped many tornado victims is the Greater Dayton Area United Way, which has shifted from recovery to rebuild and repair.
“Helping people to get rehoused, to get back into their homes, to get their homes fixed up, to make sure that they are safe and they meet the codes,” United Way president and CEO Tom Maultsby said.
Maultsby said they’ve helped nearly a thousand people so far, and their work is still not done.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in that area, but there’s a lot of damage that was done in the tornadoes, so this work goes on,” Maultsby said. “It will go on for at least another year or two.”
Maultsby said there’s still a long way to go. The United Way has committees that will continue to focus on helping victims of the tornadoes.
For Hollon and her family, from the rubble a year ago, they rebuilt a house to once again call home.
“Trudging that road, you know, to get to the end, which is your home again, we are there,” Hollon said. “I thank God every day to be home.”