Sen. Sherrod Brown comments on tornado recovery effort

A Year of Recovery

NORTHRIDGE, Ohio (WDTN) – Senator Sherrod Brown cautions the tornado recovery process is far from over. While many people are accessing FEMA assistance, many more still need a lot of help. 

Doug Wells is uninsured but says his application for relief aid through FEMA was turned down. Doug feels like he’s been forgotten, but Senator Sherrod Brown says it’s everyone’s job to make sure he’s not. 

Doug says, “The night of the tornado, they took me out in an ambulance.”

The day the tornadoes hit, he developed pneumonia in both his lungs and collapsed. 

Doug says he “spent about three or four days in the ICU, stepped down, and this what I saw when I got out.” 

He came home to severe damage. Five weeks later, his home is still too damaged to reconnect water and power. He tried connecting with FEMA but was turned down for aid the first time.

“It’s like someone dropped a bomb. I don’t know the technicalities of it, but they could have stayed a little longer and helped the people who didn’t have insurance, which we didn’t,” he said. 

Doug and his fiancé are both disabled and are struggling to figure out what’s next. 

Senator Sherrod Brown says, “We hear from individual people who feel overlooked.” 

Doug isn’t the only one, as Senator Brown says a lot of people feel forgotten. “But there are some that will be left behind, and our duty as a country who cares about its citizens is to find them and try to help them and that’s my ongoing commitment.” 

Armed with a generator and a refillable water tank, Doug is doing his best to move forward, sawing and clearing debris as best he can. “When it’s said and done after time goes by, you’re left tending to yourselves. It’s kind of heart-wrenching.” 

Doug plans to try to reconnect with FEMA soon. 

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