Relief fund continues to help local communities recover from tornado

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“For two years we have been helping landlords, as well as tenants, to resettle,” she said. “Many of these grants went to organizations that supported, through the Miami Valley Long-Term Recovery Collaborative, the admission of individuals who needed help and the determination of what help they needed, whether it is a reconstruction, furniture or any other case.”

Now the Foundation is in the third stage: community recovery.

“This includes providing assistance to jurisdictions still recovering from tornadoes,” she said.

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City leaders, county commissioners and community partners prepare to dedicate a new home for a family impacted by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

Credit: India Duke

City leaders, county commissioners and community partners prepare to dedicate a new home for a family impacted by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

Credit: India Duke

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City leaders, county commissioners and community partners prepare to dedicate a new home for a family impacted by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

Credit: India Duke

Credit: India Duke

ExploreTracking the Money: How Millions in Tornado Relief Were Spent

Efforts at this point include funding for the Tornado Survivor Pathways to Homeownership program, grants to RETREET for tree replanting – whether in places like Sinclair Park or at individual housing sites – and financial assistance for individual recovery projects proposed by cities and jurisdictions.

An example of a project, Holihan said, is a $200,000 grant to Five Rivers MetroParks to support its efforts to clean up the Foxton Court apartment site on Shoup Mill Road and turn the area into a park.

According to Holihan, the remaining recovery funds total approximately $500,000 as new donations continue to come in, all of which will continue to be used to fund jurisdictional projects.

“We continue to receive donations and we still have work to do,” she said.

Although the second stage of the recovery effort ended in October, the Foundation is committed to continuing to provide support to those seeking tornado recovery assistance through the Services Helpline. Catholic Socials for an additional year as some homeowners have been processing insurance claims and are only just becoming aware that their policy payments may not be enough to facilitate full repairs or rebuilds.

“This community is very resilient and (we are proud) to be able to support the recovery through the funding received through donations from across the country, if not the world,” Holihan said. “We are proud that the community trusted us and we were able to support agencies that had boots on the ground to help people.”

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Recovery from the tornado was quick for some and slow for others. Here, volunteers from Shiloh Church and corporate partners reroof a house on Oneida Avenue in Harrison Twp. in September 2021, more than two years after the Memorial Day tornadoes. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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Recovery from the tornado was quick for some and slow for others.  Here, volunteers from Shiloh Church and corporate partners reroof a house on Oneida Avenue in Harrison Twp.  in September 2021, more than two years after the Memorial Day tornadoes.  JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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Recovery from the tornado was quick for some and slow for others. Here, volunteers from Shiloh Church and corporate partners reroof a house on Oneida Avenue in Harrison Twp. in September 2021, more than two years after the Memorial Day tornadoes. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

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Community-by-community approach

**Dayton: The city has invested $4.1 million in direct tornado recovery efforts, including debris removal, permanent infrastructure improvements for roads, sidewalks and curbs, repair of damaged city facilities, the demolition of damaged municipal facilities near Wegerzyn Gardens and the restoration of Ridgecrest Park.

“We have worked diligently with FEMA and OEMA for nearly two years to recover costs incurred as a direct result of the Dayton tornado,” Deputy City Manager Joe Parlette said.

While buildings were the most visible things damaged, in the immediate response to the storm, the City of Dayton had to repair or replace 97 traffic lights and restore power at 78 intersections, as well as replace signs and streetlights. .

Public Works collected 220,000 cubic meters of tree debris, which was recycled into 88,000 cubic meters of wood chips, according to city officials. Stacked 10 feet high, the wood chips would cover the Welcome Stadium football field five times.

The factors that have helped or hindered a neighborhood’s ability to rebuild are something city officials say they need to understand in greater depth. For example, the DeWeese neighborhood is almost completely rebuilt, repaired or rehabilitated, and the high rate of home insurance may be a contributing factor to this success.

ExploreSome businesses have moved after tornadoes; others say “the future is very, very bright”

**Township of Harrison: Some streets are still in poor condition around Neff Road and Maple Grove Avenue, east of Dixie Drive. In Maple Grove, a tree that tore through the roof of a house three years ago is still there today, and a building in the 2000 block of Neff Road looks set to fall onto the road.

Administrator Kris McClintick says the biggest challenge from a government perspective has been getting to a point where the township is able and funded to remove damaged structures that have been abandoned.

“We have an interest in developing new homes in the township, but the impacts of inflation, COVID and the tornado are compounding construction costs and the recovery has been slow,” McClintick said.

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Left to right, Harrison Twp. service manager Merle Cyphers and Harrison Twp. Trustee Charlie Waldron plants a maple tree in June 2021 at Sinclair Park. The township hosted a tree-planting kick-off to begin restoring the tree canopy the park lost to Memorial Day tornadoes in 2019. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Left to right, Harrison Twp.  service manager Merle Cyphers and Harrison Twp.  Trustee Charlie Waldron plants a maple tree in June 2021 at Sinclair Park.  The township hosted a tree-planting kick-off to begin restoring the tree canopy the park lost to Memorial Day tornadoes in 2019. JIM NOELKER/STAFF
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Left to right, Harrison Twp. service manager Merle Cyphers and Harrison Twp. Trustee Charlie Waldron plants a maple tree in June 2021 at Sinclair Park. The township hosted a tree-planting kick-off to begin restoring the tree canopy the park lost to Memorial Day tornadoes in 2019. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

**Clayton: The city was “very lucky” in its recovery from the tornado, City Manager Amanda Zimmerlin said.

“There was no significant damage to shopping malls and residential areas that were affected, homes have been repaired or are being repaired,” Zimmerlin said.

Clayton officials are still working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on clearing the waterways of storm debris, according to Zimmerlin, and after numerous pandemic-related delays, the project is expected to be complete by mid-June. .

As part of the Miami Valley TREEcovery campaign, approximately 40 trees have been planted in the city.

** Riverside: The city suffered damage in the Overlook Homes sector, as well as in the Prairies district.

“We were lucky because the damage in our community wasn’t as extensive as in others,” City Manager Josh Rauch said. “For the most part we have fully recovered and there are few lingering effects from this particular storm.”

** Throughout the region: Some neighborhoods have recovered so well you wouldn’t even know they were hit by tornadoes – until you looked at the trees. It could be a crippled tree here, or a row of trees permanently leaning east, or sometimes, no trees at all, because they were all flattened.

Three years later, other areas are still empty – the old Hara Arena, the mall on North Dixie in Ridge, the old hotel along I-75 in Wagner Ford and the indoor sports building in Action Sports Center.

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In December 2019, Allison Sandivar’s holiday exhibit lit up the tree-strewn, tornado-ravaged Stillwater River bank below her home in Harrison Twp. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

In December 2019, Allison Sandivar's holiday exhibit lit up the tree-strewn, tornado-ravaged Stillwater River bank below her home in Harrison Twp.  CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
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In December 2019, Allison Sandivar’s holiday exhibit lit up the tree-strewn, tornado-ravaged Stillwater River bank below her home in Harrison Twp. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF


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