TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald says the city has recovered about 80 percent of their losses from the Memorial Day tornadoes. More than $1.4 million dollars was requested from FEMA for debris and clean up costs. The full cost of the damage to the city is not available yet.
Millions of dollars was invested to rebuild apartment complexes including the Westbrook Village Apartments, a 350 unit complex that was destroyed in the storm. Now the complex is nearly ready for families to move in, bringing hope even while another disaster threatens recovery efforts.
“When the covid-19 came about it almost just froze us, because we had to stop everything,” said Mayor McDonald. “We were doing well going through the recovery process. We saw people excited about being able to get into their homes, we saw people update their homes. We saw lots of positives happening in the community.”
The coronavirus pandemic, which started in March, slowed plans but progress was being seen across the city.
Out of 1100 properties impacted by the tornadoes 200 suffered major damage. But people are rebuilding and returning to Trotwood thanks to a four-year tax abatement program incentivizing renovation and construction of residential structures.
Erica Bohannon and her son lost their apartment in the tornadoes. But today they are safely in their onw home thanks to Habitat for Humanity. Their new home is one of several new structures in the area with tornado proof construction
“It’s a true blessing I don’t take it for granted,” shared Bohannon. “Those small intricate details let’s me know that they really truly cared about not only providing a new home for me but for providing a safe home.”
The city had planned a Memorial Day Tornado Recovery festival to commemorate the anniversary of the storms and celebrate the progress. Although the pandemic has put a pause on those plans, other ways to remember the historic day are still in the works.
“We are going to commemorate the tornado by having a plaque made and that plaque will be at the community and arts center and it will definitely highlight what our community had gone through,” said Mayor McDonald.
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