Rebuilding after the tornado in Shelby thanks to the generosity of others

SHELBY, Ohio-- Five teams of representatives from the Richland County Emergency Management Agency were going through Shelby and surrounding townships on Tuesday getting a clearer assessment of the damage from Sunday's tornado for any disaster assistance that might be available in the near future.

At least 30 structures were reported damaged in Shelby and nearby Sharon and Jackson Townships by the powerful twister that carved a 17-mile path through the area on Sunday with winds as high as 125 miles per hour.

On Tuesday, the number of people injured by the storm was revised down from six to five, all of the injuries reported as not serious.

Also on Tuesday, many of the roads that had been closed because of downed power lines were re-opening as crews from numerous power companies and area municipalities worked to restore power and replace broken poles.

The Shelby Police Department is also accepting contributions of food and money to help the victims of the storm as they continue to pick up the pieces.

For homeowners whose losses were the greatest, the task of rebuilding, which seemed insurmountable over the past several days, has been accelerated through the generosity of countless volunteers.

At the home of Emily and Brad Bowman, where massive trees were snapped off, one crashing through the roof of their two-story home, volunteers seemed to have come from out of nowhere.

"Actually we are sort of getting to the point now where we don't need as much help and we have actually been turning away people that are going to find other places to help because we are sort of getting our place under control," said Benny Bowman, Brad's father.

Nearby, Alice Jimison was more than grateful for church volunteers and others who showed up to help her unsolicited and without the expectation of any payment of any kind.

"It just blows you away because they keep coming and they keep doing and doing and doing and I was thinking, 'What am I going to do to get lunch to all these people?'" said Jimison.

Helping to provide meals again on Tuesday were volunteers from the American Red Cross.

Tim Poe and Sue Wisdom delivered water, food and compassion to victims and to others who were working to clean up while also assessing their needs.

"People like Alice they appreciate you; they need your help. We are there to help; it's just awesome," said Wisdom.

Homeowners on Tuesday were also continuing to work with insurance adjusters to start the process of rebuilding.

Richland County Emergency Management Director Rick Evans on Tuesday urged residents to be cautious of companies and individuals who might be coming into the area charging for work.

His agency was declining volunteer assistance, taking contact information of anyone wanting to help and advising that he would reach out to them if they are needed.

**Continuing coverage**

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