Neighbors continue tornado cleanup, state assesses damage

Neighbors continue tornado cleanup, state assesses damage

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by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on March 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 10:07 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Victims from this weekend’s tornado are working on getting repair or rebuild quotes from insurance companies while continuing to clean up the debris.

On Monday state damage assessment crews toured hard hit areas. They are checking to see who has insurance, how much, and if homeowners are eligible for state or federal aid. That announcement isn’t expected for several days, officials said.

In the Brookstead and Steeple Chase neighborhoods near the Mecklenburg–Cabarrus County line along I-485, insurance, construction and restoration crews were everywhere. There were also numerous garbage trucks, neighbors helping neighbors and volunteers offering assistance.

Some homes aren’t repairable and have to be torn town while others are fixable.

"It's a miracle nobody died,” said neighbor Simenesh Abebe. She is grateful the tornado didn’t destroy her home. Still, she estimates it damaged 30 to 40 percent of the house. The tornado also tore down her back fence.

"My daughter was sleeping in one of the bedrooms and all the windows were broken out,” Abebe said. "We can rebuild it.”

Cut it, stack it and pick through it is the mindset in the nearby Steeple Chase neighborhood.

Overall, Cabarrus County officials said 49 homes were damaged totaling nearly two million dollars.

Tami Curtis' house is covered with a tarp and unlivable due to structural damage after a tree crushed it. She's not sure what it will take to fix it.

"All this is starting to get a little overwhelming,” Curtis said. The tornado destroyed approximately 20 trees in her backyard. North Carolina Baptist Men volunteer Ray Graham helped cut them down.

"The power of nature is unbelievable,” he said.

Curtis' friend Michele Web was out front picking up glass from four broken windows. She didn’t want people or animals getting injured by all the shards.

Mecklenburg County has waived yard waste and demolition fees at the Hickory Grove Recycling Center through March 17 to help neighbors impacted by the tornado.

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