Housing fair helps tornado victims still without homes

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

The destruction from the March tornadoes, in Eastern Kentucky, is mostly cleaned up, but the lives are forever changed.

"It [hail] left the top all busted from one end of the trailer to the other," described Nathan Dunn of the damage to his mobile home.

"We have to stay in Morehead now, in a little rental place," said Ben Elam, a storm victim who lost his entire house in West Liberty, "it's been a month and the town is looking a lot better but it's still real, real bad."

Storm victims like these families are left with little to nothing at all.

"We went to the basement and just started praying and the house started blowing away," recalled Elam's wife, Judy, "everything was gone in a matter of seconds."

In many cases, victims are under-insured or worse, uninsured, leaving them with almost no financial support to rebuild or reclaim what was lost.

So several organizations were pulled together by leaders in Morgan and Menifee Counties to host a Housing Fair for these victims.

"I just come in here to see what could be done," said Dunn.

"[With this fair] You can take all of the answers they already have and fill in the gaps," explained Morgan County Judge Executive Tim Conley.

Everything from loan advice, to scam warnings, even stress management teams were on hand to help these victims recover quickly and rebuild for the long term. Among the many groups present were FEMA, several regional banks, Habitat for Humanity, and a few other community outreach groups and they all offered advice and assisted in enrollment plans for help.

"These people are the solution people. They have the money and the resources. Therefore we can explore each avenue," said Menifee County Judge Executive J.D. Trimble of the organizations at the Housing Fair.

"From the Housing Fair, the best thing you [the victim] can find out is you're not alone," added Judge Conley.

These leaders and victims know that getting back to normal will take a while, but that won't stop them from trying.

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