Aumsville Community Works to Restore Town

AUMSVILLE, Ore. — Aumsville was left in shambles when a tornado tore through the small town last week. But in the days following, the community has come together and a lot has changed.

On Sunday, a day when most people are relaxing, people in Aumsville were hard at work. Residents there are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after a tornado ripped through their area late Tuesday morning.

“We are removing the roof from here, trying to get going again so we can start rebuilding,” said Vince Catron, Aumsville resident.

While some are working on what’s still left to do, others are starting from scratch.

It was just days ago when streets and homes were covered in debris. Now most are cleared and draped in tarps and stacks of shingles.

“It’s pretty normal. The streets are clean. You can get through all of them — except this one here, on the end of the plumbing shop here,” said Ted Sheppard, Aumsville resident.

In less than a week’s time, residents have chipped in to help each other not just with the physical work to patch things up, but also in sharing their own homes and food. It’s made assistance from the Red Cross nearly obsolete.

“We were prepared to offer sheltering to people, but didn’t need to because so many people offered their homes,” said Betty Swinkels, American Red Cross.

Red Cross workers say they’re still providing some meals, but no beds because, they say, Aumsville is just a unique community.  It’s a tight-knit town that residents are thankful to live in and are aware of even more now that the rebuilding process has begun.

“Mostly just reconfirms why I live here. It may not be the prettiest place…it’s not very gentile, but the people are very gentle,” said Kris Christian, Aumsville resident.

Some residents estimate it will take at least a year until everything is back to normal.

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