Ashley Jaimz and her sister, Amanda Urbina, took a drive through the Cedar Crest neighborhood the other day to view how residents were faring in the wake of a Nov. 17 tornado.
The drive was intended to provide some closure to Jaimz, who is still struggling to come to grips with losing her home on East Murden Street a year ago during in the historic April 2013 flood.
“I feel like she needed to see people like her that were still rebuilding,” Urbina said. “They have a home — some of it’s a shell, some of it’s non-existent. I just wanted to make sure she knew she wasn’t alone in feeling this way and that it’s a process. There are other people out there still recovering, still trying to nail together what they have left. It’s heartbreaking.”
Healing hasn’t come easy for Jaimz, who watched on April 19 as the duplex she and her husband, Mark, had rented for a couple of years filled up with 5.5 feet of water, destroying nearly everything the family owned.
Furniture was flipped over and floating in the house. The family’s washing machine was ripped out of the wall.
“We were making jokes when it was raining, out there in our lawn chairs with a fishing pole,” Jaimz said. “An hour and a half later, our whole house was [flooded].”
The joke quickly turned into a nightmare, Jaimz said, and it hasn’t been easy to recover. She and her husband, along with their two boys, Levi, 13, and Keygan, 10, have moved into a new rental home on Webster Street in Kokomo, but replacing all of the things they lost has been an ongoing process.
Friends and family, including a large donation of clothing from her uncle, Bruce, have helped Jaimz recover.