Tuesday, April 13, 1999

Long shopping list for family that lost house, clothes

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP — Susan Bochnovich went shopping Monday for relatively unimportant stuff, like clothes. As she went, she juggled a cellular phone on which she continued her family's reconstruction from Friday's deadly tornado.

        She thinks she found a nice apartment. Two of her three kids are back in school.

Might be condemned
        Much has changed since Friday morning, when in seconds a portion of her second-story roof was ripped off and her home was reduced to scattered debris.

        After clothes shopping Monday, she met with an engineer and an insurance adjuster. The house might be condemned.

        Throughout her afternoon at Kenwood Towne Centre, she found time to laugh, pick up some makeup items at Lazarus, and call the lessons of the tornado something of a blessing.

        “This hasbeen a blessing in that it confirms my faith in Christianity,” she said while her 15-year-old son, Michael, tried on shorts at American Eagle. “People have been so helpful. The youth. Our church. Our neighbors. My work. Especially the youth.”

        Ms. Bochnovich is director of education for the Mount Healthy School District. She extends her left hand as a greeting because her right hand was cut by flying glass, requiring stitches.

        Of the clothes she was wearing Monday, only her sneakers were hers. They were found in the front yard. When she grabbed for her wallet to pay her son's clothing bill of $198.23, pieces of house insulation fell from her pocket.

        “It doesn't feel like it's happening,” Michael said. “I don't think it's really hit me yet.”

Maze of logistics
        He lost his prized Mark McGwire rookie baseball card in the tornado, but after reading about that in The Cincinnati Enquirer's Sunday special section, a Landen woman called and said she's now shopping for one.

        “Oh,” Ms. Bochnovich said when told. “That is so wonderful. He's going to be so excited.”

        To the clothing spree Michael without hesitation contributed the $50 gift certificate he got for his birthday in February.

        The recently divorced Ms. Bochnovich, like many of her Marlette Drive neighbors, was thrown by the tornado into a maze of logistics. But with time to reflect, she said keeping perspective was easy.

        Her family is safe. Her computer laptop was found two blocks away, and her barbecue set landed five houses away.

        As it did throughout the in terview, her cellular phone rang.

        “No, I'm not getting a makeover,” she told the caller, laughing as she perused the Lancome counter at Lazarus.

        The biggest material concerns were the three oil paintings of her children, each when they were 3 years old. The art will need a cleaning but is OK.


Treasures recovered in debris
Tristate tallies financial losses
Tornado renews debate about communications system
Some see '99 as a peak year for tornadoes
Weather radios not easy to find
Hundreds of insurance claims filed
Businesses not reopening as swiftly as hoped
- Long shopping list for family that lost house, clothes
Road & school closings; curfews
Two victims remembered; 2 buried today
Forest teaches lessons anew
Government tries to get back to normal
Synagogue lends hand to church
Mail delivery interrupted
Sycamore moves some games to opponents' fields
Tax deadline extended for victims
Warren County sets up hot line