Tornado Disaster: Washington families try to salvage what`s left - New York News

Tornado Disaster: Washington families try to salvage what`s left

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Sunday's tornadoes killed 6 people -- the most people to die in tornadoes on a November day in our state's history. At least 13,000 homes and businesses are without power and Washington's mayor now estimates more than 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

On Tuesday, one Washington family went back to their house for the first time.

Greg Hill helped his sister-in-law cleanup after the tornado barreled over her home and tore off the roof.

"When you have something like this happen, you don't question, you just start doing and that's the attitude everybody's had and that's the attitude you have to have if you're going to get through this," Hill says.

And that's been the prevailing attitude in Washington since the tornado hit. Volunteers have offered help, with friends and neighbors pitching in, because when life gets this broken, it's impossible to piece things back together without a lot of help.

"We're just trying to help her get the valuable stuff out," says Marcia Horton, a helping friend. "The stuff that's not damaged trying to get to save some of it so when she can get back into a new home, she has something familiar, just trying to get it so she can get her life back."

"I'm very thankful to be here today," Beth Semlow tells FOX 32. "We are very lucky because it hit very fast, it was probably within 30 to 45 seconds by the time we got downstairs that was how fast it happened."

For the Semlow family, the alerts and the sirens gave them time to run down into their basement.

20-year-old Cody took us down there and showed us the room where they all hid, he said his aunt crawled under an air mattress to protect herself from falling debris.

"I'm just lucky enough our ceiling didn't collapse on us," Cody says. "Luckily."

Beth says when she looks around and sees the complete devastation that some of her neighbors have endured, she's just grateful that when she looks at her house she still has walls, standing.

"I just had a breakdown a little bit ago, I ran into a friend that's very dear to me and we had tears, we shared tears," she says when asked how she's doing.

As for Cody, what happened to his room and his home is hard to put into words.

"All I can do now is help my family and try to recover," he says. "I know were going to be able to be in this house again, but it won't be for at least a year."

And while for this family--and many others--the destruction has left them down, they are determined to rise above the ruin.

"We plan to rebuild because yeah we love Washington," Beth says.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Sanitation men nearly throw away mayor's piano

    Sanitation men nearly throw away mayor's piano

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:39 PM EDT2014-08-22 17:39:56 GMT
    A piano donated by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop nearly ended up pushing up daises in a landfill instead of making music in a pedestrian plaza. Fulop gave the upright so residents could play tunes in a pedestrian plaza that opened on Monday.
    A piano donated by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop nearly ended up pushing up daises in a landfill instead of making music in a pedestrian plaza. Fulop gave the upright so residents could play tunes in a pedestrian plaza that opened on Monday.

  • Fitbit responds to data selling accusations

    Fitbit responds to data selling accusations

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:57 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:57:29 GMT
    The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. San Francisco-based Fitbit said Friday that it has clarified its privacy policy to make it clear the company doesn't share information about its users. Schumer raised concerns about the company's privacy policy earlier this month and called for federal rules to allow consumers to protect their data.
    The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. San Francisco-based Fitbit said Friday that it has clarified its privacy policy to make it clear the company doesn't share information about its users. Schumer raised concerns about the company's privacy policy earlier this month and called for federal rules to allow consumers to protect their data.
  • 50,000 bees living in NYC ceiling

    50,000 bees living in NYC ceiling

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:27 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:27:29 GMT
    A Queens woman had some unexpected roommates living in her apartment: 50,000 bees. Beekeepers reportedly removed the swarm from Frieda Turkmenilli's ceiling this week after her neighbors in Queens alerted the building manager. Turkmenilli says she saw only a few bees buzzing around over the last few weeks and never realized how many had taken up residence right above her head.
    A Queens woman had some unexpected roommates living in her apartment: 50,000 bees. Beekeepers reportedly removed the swarm from Frieda Turkmenilli's ceiling this week after her neighbors in Queens alerted the building manager. Turkmenilli says she saw only a few bees buzzing around over the last few weeks and never realized how many had taken up residence right above her head.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices