Tornado survivors continue cleanup

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BARTON COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Three days after an EF3 tornado destroyed his family’s home, Tyler Swank is still assessing the damage it caused.

“I honestly didn’t think I was going to live through it,” said Swank, as he recalled the moment he took shelter in his home.

The tornado left the family with little to nothing.

“We were able to find some photos and go out and find our clothes,” he said. “Some of the dressers were left just buried under rubble, you know, so we were able to get some clothes out of the house.”

However, Swank’s two cars ended up totaled — one was found flipped upside down.

According to Swank, he and his wife are trying to find a cheap vehicle that could take them back and forth to work.

Today, the family continued looking for photos and anything that can’t be replaced.

Thursday night was déjà vu for the family, when a tornado was spotted headed toward Hoisington — where the family had to take shelter again.

“It was scary,” Swank said. “I was just praying that it wouldn’t hit again.”

After seeing firsthand the damage a tornado can cause, Swank said he prays no one else has to go through it.

“It’s just the worst, scariest thing you could imagine,” he said.

On Saturday, the family is having the home demolished, and they’ll begin to look for a new place to live.

KSN reached out to the Barton County appraiser and she said the estimated damage caused by the tornado is almost $750,000, but that number is expected to go up as crews continue to assess the damage.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the Swank family, for those interested in donating.

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