Some Angus residents could be out of their homes for a year: Officials
There has been a new step in the recovery in Angus: the state of emergency there has been lifted.
It’s a sign that recovery is progressing after a long week for those affected by the tornado.
But it’s not all good news for residents. Some could be out of their homes for at least a year.
Homeowners are still waiting for their insurance adjusters to assess the damage and say whether it’s safe for them to return to their homes. The damage is so extensive to some homes that people have been told it could be a year before they can return.
For some, there won’t be any returning home. At least, not to the one they left.
Isabelle Schere is grabbing whatever belongings she can. The tornado caused so much damage to her home it will have to be torn down.
“I've been in it for six months, it's devastating, stressful. I just want to have a normal life,” she says.
As many as 20 homes could be demolished like Schere’s and heavy equipment has already been brought in to get started. But Essa's mayor says there is some good news for the 100s of people affected by last Tuesday’s tornado.
“There is still a lot of work to be done but we're pleased at this point that the majority of work to be finished is up to the adjusters and the insurance companies,” says Essa Mayor Terry Dowdall.
Meanwhile, cleanup efforts continued today.
Restoration crews spent all day removing debris from backyards and inside homes so teams of insurance adjusters could assess the damage. Insurance companies have estimated the EF2 tornado caused as much as $25 million in damage. Many homes have demolition permits posted on their front doors.
“It could mean interior walls or just a portion of the house,” explains Fire Chief Cynthia Ross Tustin.
Whatever needs to be done, it's still unclear when people will be able to return to their homes for good. Damien Harrett is still waiting to hear whether his home could be repaired and if and when he will be allowed back in.
“From what I've heard they're just going day by day tearing down dry wall, saving as much as they can and we'll go from there,” he says.
In the meantime, contractors are busy building temporary roofs, boarding up windows, and reinforcing tarps on homes to protect against the rain that’s in the forecast.
“Whatever they save would be a good thing,” says resident Chad Peacey.
As for Schere, she's been told it could take between eight months to a year to rebuild her home.
“Life goes on,” she says. “I'm trying to hold on the best I can.”
The town is expected to update residents at a meeting tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Angus Recreation Centre.