Monday, April 12, 1999

Bulldozers first, then rebuilding




BY LUCY MAY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        In the coming days, bulldozers and backhoes will finish the work begun by Friday's predawn twister.

[tornado]
Wantda Hatfield looks up at her home at 7599 Lake Water Drive in Montgomery, most of which was destroyed in Friday's storm. Cincinnati Enquirer/Yoni Pozner
| ZOOM |
        Storm victims spent Sunday thanking God for their lives, surveying the damage to their homes and communities, and searching for normalcy in the week ahead.

        But before they can rebuild, many will have to watch as the remains of their homes and businesses are leveled.

        Demolition started Saturday in Blue Ash and will continue this week. Montgomery residents were asked to clear damaged homes of personal belongings by 5 p.m. Tuesday so demolition can begin early Wednesday. Ten damaged homes in Warren County's Deerfield Township likely will be demolished this week, too..

        “We expect that by the end of this coming week, the reconstruction will be ready to start,” said Blue Ash City Manager Marvin Thompson.

        Local officials are trying to protect the community from fly-by-night contractors.

        The Ohio attorney general's office will have a representative at the Montgomery Safety Center at 9 a.m. today to register contractors after checking their credentials.

        Sycamore High School suffered $1 million in damages, Superintendent Bruce Armstrong said Sunday.

        Mr. Armstrong canceled classes for all district students today. Administrators will decide today whether to hold classes tomorrow.

        “We cannot keep kids out of harm's way with so many construction vehicles on the roads,” he said.

        When school resumes, counselors will be on hand.

        There were signs of recovery Sunday:

        • Only two storm victims remained at Jewish Hospital Kenwood.

        • Dearborn and Ripley counties in Indiana saw substantial cleanup progress Sunday.

        • Cinergy estimates 1,500 customers still are without power, spokeswoman Kathy Meinke said.

        • Cincinnati Bell's repair calls were back to normal levels Sunday, said spokeswoman Libby Korosec. Customers should call 566-1511 to alert the company if they still need service restored.

        Reporters Dana DiFilippo, Amy Higgins and Ben Kaufman contributed to this report.

       



Monday's Tornado Stories
- Bulldozers first, then rebuilding
Community rallies to help
Gawkers strip tornado victims of dignity
Sirens need to sound louder, longer, readers say
Tornado renews churches' faith
Scholarship fund created for college student who lost parents
Smith visitation today
Some businesses get back to work, others salvage what they can
Psychological counseling available to victims
Symptoms of trauma
READERS SHARE STORIES
Red Cross receives surplus of assistance
Red Cross closes shelters
How to give/get help
Road and school closings; curfews

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