Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

May 8, 2014

Tornado affected neighborhoods continue cleanup

Long Term Recovery Team still helping residents

Six months after the Nov. 17 tornadoes ripped through parts of Kokomo, signs of the twisters remain.

From the Maple Crest Plaza to the Soupley’s at Lafountain Street and Lincoln Road to several homes in the Ricketts and Bell street areas and the Cedar Crest neighborhood, the damage from the storm can still be seen.

While some people had insurance or other means to rebuild, others were not as fortunate.

That’s why a group of volunteers called World Renew Disaster Response Service was called in as part of the Long Term Recovery Team. The recovery team was established after the November tornadoes to help clean up and aid people in need.

The team arrived in Kokomo two weeks ago to assess remaining needs and left Friday. Volunteers handed out nearly 888 forms for homeowners affected by the storms, said Dennis Stole, head of the World Renew Volunteers.

Based out of Grand Rapids, Mich., the World Renew, or “Green Shirts,” are volunteers from all over the country who go to storm-damaged areas and identify what’s left to be done after initial clean-up.

The needs assessment, Stole said, found 29 cases of people who need extra help. Stole said two cases were labeled critical and “the rest of the people just needed help with insurance and financial help.”

The two critical cases, he said, are elderly or handicapped people who don’t have insurance and don’t have the capacity to do the repair work themselves.

“One is out in the country and there’s one in town,” he said.

Stole said he will hand over his assessments to a case worker with the Long Term Recovery Team, who will make arrangements to get the work completed.

World Renew submitted its findings Friday and uncovered 25 new cases that have been added to LTR casework.

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