CELINA, Oh. (WPTA21) – The sound of nail guns has replaced the roar of powerful winds, eight days after a tornado laid waste to dozens of homes in Mercer County Ohio.
The American Red Cross is playing a role in the ongoing relief effort.
Every direction you turn in Wheatland Acres and other neighborhoods on Celina’s northwest side, you see homes torn to pieces.
There are now obvious signs that the re-building process is taking shape.
We stumbled onto a contractor’s crew working on a roof that didn’t survive the storm.
“We’re just taking the remaining shingles off the roof that were blown away, and we’re going to lay down paper so we can put more shingles down for them,” said Dillon King.
The Red Cross is extending its helping hand as well.
Disaster case workers from the Ohio Buckeye region set up shop in a downtown office building early this week, sitting down with tornado victims to hear their stories of suffering.
The case workers through Monday and half of Tuesday had recorded the losses of about two dozen victims.
In many cases, they load some money onto a debit card, that can be used for food or temporary shelter.
“Do you need clothing, did all your clothing get carried away or destroyed? So, we’re able to provide them with some monetary help,” said Jennifer Bowers, a marketing director for the Red Cross.
We talked to the Clausens in Wheatland Acres, who lost shingles, their garage door, and the back of their house took a beating.
But they took a pass on the assistance.
“If what you give me would take away from somebody who really needs it, I don’t want it, and that’s probably how most people feel. We can all manage,” said Kelli Clausen.
The Red Cross center was set to be available to storm victims again on June 5th.
Case workers are prepared to steer people to FEMA for information on loans to re-build. They also stand ready to connect folks with spiritual and mental health counseling on the back end of a traumatic event.