Lots of work ahead for Angus residents two weeks after the tornado
More than two weeks after a tornado tore a path of damage through Angus – there’s still a lot of work to be done to bring life back to normal.
The Township of Essa has told the province it needs over $10 million to cover the cost of cleaning up and repairing the damage and that’s only a preliminary estimate because people are still out of their homes and face a long road ahead to rebuild their lives.
Chelsea Cabral has been homeless since the tornado hit her home.
“The front door got sucked in, the garage door got sucked in and it needed a release so it went through the attic, through my roof.”
She’s been staying at a hotel in Barrie dreaming of the day she can check out. All she needs is a roof.
“They’re hoping, weather permitting and permit permitting, to have a new roof on my house in the next few days and that’s really good news because that’s one of the big reasons why I can’t move back in.”
Jessica Miedema and her family were able to move back on Wednesday. For her it’s a huge relief.
“We’ve been out for two weeks and we’ve been staying with our friends and then family and then at a hotel so it’s nice to sleep in our own bed and get stuff sorted out finally.”
Her house had minimal roof damage but she still had to wait like everyone else.
“Very frustrating because we knew that we didn’t have that much damage and obviously we were lucky because we didn’t have much. But then again we want to be back in our house.”
Contractors have been working every day since the tornado hit trying to repair the homes they can so people can return. But they say it takes time and every house is different.
“The damage varies from home to home, some homes will have to have all the interior finishes removed and some homes might just require some shingles or some siding,” says Mark Komar with Burk’s Restoration.
Town officials say they’re trying to do their part to speed up the process by making sure building permits are handed out quickly.
“It’s in the ball park of the insures and their adjusters and structural engineers and once they submit the appropriate reports to our building department we are fast tracking the permit process to get things moving as quickly as possible,” say Township of Essa CAO Greg Murphy.
For Chelsea that can’t come soon enough.
“I can see other people like on my street living at their houses and I’m still out of my house and a lot houses in the immediate area are still out and it’s just frustrating because it’s still a waiting game.”
Making the request for disaster relief money from the province is only the first step in the process. Town officials say they are hoping to hear back soon if they qualify, and in the meantime they plan on getting a committee together to manage the fundraising and donations they’ve already collected.