Battle Ground residents rebuilding together after tornado - KPTV - FOX 12

Battle Ground residents rebuilding together after tornado

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BATTLE GROUND, WA (KPTV) -

Battle Ground was buzzing with the sounds of picking up, sweeping up and cutting up after a tornado turned the town upside down.

While the weather has calmed down significantly from Thursday, there is still a mess, with piles of fencing and roofing all over the place, leaving residents like Colleen Hack hardly knowing where to start.

“At first I thought it was just a big thunderstorm with some wind,” she said. “And then it looked like someone stuck their hand in my backyard and just started swirling things and then it all just heaved towards the house."

The twister toppled 30 trees on her property, causing very little damage to her house but leaving a massive mess that could cost $8,000 to $10,000 to clean up, money that could be hard to find.

"So we've had people knocking on our door offering bids, but if you don't have the money for the bid, it doesn't do you any good," Hack said. “My husband had open heart surgery a year ago and we're just trying to get back on our feet from that.”

Hack is grateful her family is safe, but it's been a hard year and she's hoping that assistance is on the way.

As of Friday, the count was at 36 homes damaged by the tornado, though that doesn't include houses with only downed trees and torn up fences.

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While some like hack may be overwhelmed by the clean up ahead, Battle Ground mayor Shane Bowman is working on a plan.

While touring damage Friday, he recounted being home when the EF-1 tornado hit, and was stunned that a storm like that hit his town.

Bowman said he had spoken with the governor’s office about getting assistance, and is also trying to organize volunteer groups who can get to people needing trees cut up or debris hauled away.

The mayor was impressed with his fellow residents already offering to help in any way they can.

“It’s awesome.  It's awesome as a community to see everyone step up and dig in,” Bowman said. "When stuff like this happens, it doesn't matter what your job is.  One of our city engineers was out here yesterday cutting wood.  So it doesn't matter what your job it, you just step up and go help people."

Bowman said the best place to find assistance and sign up to help was on the Battle Ground city Facebook page.

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