Harrisburg group works to bring tornado victims home - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Harrisburg group works to bring tornado victims home

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A S.T.O.R.M. volunteer works to rehab a home for a family affected by the 2012 tornado in Harrisburg A S.T.O.R.M. volunteer works to rehab a home for a family affected by the 2012 tornado in Harrisburg
HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) -

When disaster struck, a group of local people stepped up to help their hometown rebuild.

FEMA denied repeated requests to help Harrisburg recover following the 2012 Leap Day tornado; which left many homeowners wondering how they could ever return home.

A group called Project S.T.O.R.M. stepped in to help. The acronym stands for Social work, Transitional housing, One-stop center, Rehab of housing, and Matching of resources.

The group is basically a bunch of local volunteers who set out the day the EF04 tornado hit to make things right again for its victims.

S.T.O.R.M. helped to get uninsured or under-insured tornado victims whatever they needed. The group found matching state funds to help rebuild damaged homes, or if repair wasn't an option, the group helped acquire homes in other areas of town and renovated the property to suit a storm victim's needs.

"I was fortunate enough that my house wasn't hit so I help people who were hit," said Project S.T.O.R.M. member Jerry King. "I just can't image what that was like. I try to help them get back to as normal as they can."

King tells Heartland News that one year later Harrisburg is nearly back to normal. He says S.T.O.R.M.'s work of helping tornado victims get back home is approximately 90 percent complete. King says when S.T.O.R.M. wraps up the remaining ten percent the group will be ready to help other communities when disaster strikes.

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