A coalition of churches and organizations has helped 40 Logan residents recover after the March 23 tornado.
One year after the storm struck Logan damaging over 30 homes and mobile homes, the Logan Recovery Coalition headed up by Methodist pastor T.C. Broom and First Baptist pastor Stephen Kulback has aided in clean up efforts and house replacement.
“It seems at times that receiving money to help the residents is a lot easier then finding people to do the actual work,” Kulback said.
The coalition was started three weeks after tornado struck with the purpose of helping people in the community return to their living conditions before the storm.
In addition to Broom and Kulback, the coalition is made up of members of service and interfaith organizations in Logan, such as the American Legion and Fraternal Order of the Eagles and churches, Broom said.
“To date we have helped in disbursement of $40,000 in funds and aided in the paperwork that has helped three residents receive new homes and two residents remodel their homes that were damaged by the tornado,” Broom said.
When the Federal Emergency Management Agency did a damage assessment they estimated damages over $12 million, and estimated it would take 18-20 months before repairs and restoration were complete, Kulback said.
“With the help of the coalition, the community is near restoration and complete repair nearly a year after the tornado,” Kulback said.
Overall, it is estimated that the clean up costs to the Village of Logan were $100,000. That included overtime, equipment and fuel cost, said Larry Wallin, Village of Logan manager.
“What helped us out greatly was the emergency tornado debris disposal pit near the landfill,” Wallin said. “That pit saved Logan about $250,000 in disposal cost.”
The Village of Logan has filed with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Management for reimbursement for some of the cost of the clean up, Wallin said.
“I think that Logan will receive about 30-to-40 percent reimbursement from the OEM,” Wallin said.
On the homefront, the people who the coalition assisted were chosen as Broom and Kulback went door-to-door asking about the damage done to people’s homes.
“We focused on helping those with the utmost need,” Kulback said. “Residents that did not have enough insurance to cover the entire amount of the damage, received no FEMA money or could not qualify for a USDA loan.”
While the village has been cleared of the debris and most of the homes have been restored there is still some psychological affects felt by residents even today, Broom said.
“I have had a lot of people tell me that they could not sleep at night because the wind suddenly picked up and they thought another storm was coming,” Broom said.
With thoughts of the tornado still on the minds of the residents of Logan, and storm season just around the corner, Broom and Kulback are looking to help educate the children and their parents about storm safety.
“It will be sometime before the residents of Logan completely recover from the trauma of the tornado, “ Kulback said. “While none of us want another tornado we want the community to be better educated and prepared about the storms.”
Recently a house for Cora Gallegos was delivered and set up and her response to the coalitions help has its members convinced they have done the right thing.
“Cora was one of those people who thought that they would never receive any help,” Broom said. “She was thankful that the house had been provided to her but she was in shock and disbelief. Cora asked to be pinched to be sure that it was not a dream.”