AUMSVILLE, Ore. — A day after a tornado swept through the small town of Aumsville, residents there have been working to clean up the mess left behind.
The tornado damaged 50 homes and completely destroyed 10 homes where they are no longer livable.
“(We’re) just trying to get everything back in order trying to get everything cleaned up so we can get back to our lives,” said Mike Marr, owns damaged home.
The natural disaster tore through the heart of a community, but at the same time stitched it together.
“I got up this morning thinking I was going to have to do this all myself, and everybody out here, we didn’t ask none of these people to come out here. They all came on their own with their own chainsaws, started cutting. Didn’t have to ask nobody nothing. It’s great,” Marr said.
“Basically just seeing a bunch of people in need and figured we’d come in give them a hand try to get everything cleaned up,” said Adam Culbertson.
And it wasn’t just neighbors who lent a hand, Oregonians from all over came to offer their help.
“It’s a great feeling, like a sense of worth. You get to come out and help some people that don’t know you and you don’t know them, feels good,” said Jesse Thomas, of McMinnville.
While dozens of homes have been damaged, city leaders are still assessing the impact on local businesses.
But for some, it was clear.
“I looked out this front room window here and saw that tree coming and it was like, ‘Oh my God,’” said Jaci Jones, Riverstone Bookkeeping & Tax Service owner.
While some just had to deal with uprooted trees, others weren’t so lucky.
“Watching it hail, and pretty quickly I looked up and seen stuff flying and pretty quickly it was bigger stuff and pink and sheet, you know, roofing, and I just said, ‘Oh my God,’” said Elsie Sartin, whose home was destroyed.
With the roof completely torn apart, 74-year-old Sartin’s home was deemed unlivable, and now she says she has nowhere to go.
“(I’m) happy I’m alive, devastated because I don’t know where to turn,” Sartin said.
City administrators say they are not in a state of emergency response anymore and are already moving forward.
“Clear the streets, cleaning up that debris, and the roads will be re-opened as soon as possible,” said Maryann Hills, City Administrator.
City administrators say for those who want to repair their roofs immediately, they need to get a Marion County Building Inspection permit so they can get started as soon as possible.