Kokomo residents remember tornadoes one year later

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KOKOMO, Ind. (Nov. 17, 2014)-- One year after two tornadoes destroyed homes and businesses in Kokomo, some residents continue to rebuild.

Fifty homes were destroyed and hundreds of other homes were damaged by the tornadoes last year. Mayor Greg Goodnight said he was impressed by the progress residents made despite some setbacks. He said some people had issues with their private insurance companies and reaching settlements.

“I’m very proud of how we’ve responded and how we really have not let it define us, but (it’s) just one of those things that we think about and plow forward,” Mayor Goodnight said.

Volunteers and organizations worked together to help Hoosiers rebuild immediately after the tornadoes. No one was killed by the tornadoes and no one suffered life-threatening injuries.

Phyllis Rawlins lost everything when her home was destroyed. She was not in the state when it happened. She is thankful the people who were staying at her home survived because the house collapsed on them and a Chrysler pinned down one of them.

“It’s been a year of Thanksgiving not just this one day,” Rawlins said.

Rawlins moved into a condo. She did not want to rebuild her home. She said she was thankful she found items that belonged to her late husband. Edgar Rawlins died in 2012. She found his wedding ring, books, and sermons. Edgar Rawlins was an ordained bishop.

“It’s been a whirlwind of a year, but I have truly been blessed,” Phyllis Rawlins said.

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