Kokomo's recovery one month after devastating storm
A month ago in Indiana, it was as scary day with plenty of severe weather warnings. When those storms reached Kokomo, they tore through with a vengeance.
Around a thousand homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed when tornadoes touched down on November 17th.
Since then, the cleanup has been well underway. But securing federal assistance has proven a bigger challenge.
FEMA initially denied Governor Mike Pence's request for help last week. This week, they're back at the request of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to take another look.
Sandy Jasmund from FEMA says there are a lot of factors that go into a decision about providing federal assistance: "The concentration of damage, the trauma to the community, if there are a lot of volunteer organizations helping people and insurance levels too."
Brandy Capoun, a Kokomo homeowner, told us, "I'm praying they reconsider, it's been too rough. And there's so much damage and people are broken and trying to piece their lives back together and it's difficult to do without any help."
There is still a lot of clean-up and demolition to do. The home of Mike Price and his girlfriend, Courtney, is gone. On November 17th, Courtney, who was nine months pregnant, rode out the storm in the bathtub with her toddler. Thankfully, everyone survived.
"I consider it a blessing in disguise. We lost alot, but we gained alot more," said Price.
"When I look at my son. I remember that it was a wild few days. So, when I choose to say if it was a bad week or a good week, I chose good week because I have him," finished Price.
At the Kokomo Rescue Mission's Tornado Recovery Center, Ron Visser says as much stuff as they've handed out, they've received back in donations. The latest shipment came in yesterday from Washington, IL. That community was also impacted by tornadoes from the same storm system that hit Kokomo.
"The community just really came together," said Visser
Back out in the community, the work continues. That march toward recovery that will come eventually one day, week, one month at a time.
Several community churches along with The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, United Way, Kokomo Rescue Mission are all coming together to reach out to tornado survivors and volunteers. They're holding a non-denominational prayer and fellowship called Service of Hope and Healing Wednesday night at 7pm at the Kokomo Salvation Army at 1101 S. Waugh St.