ANDOVER, Kan. (KSNW) — Homeowners are getting help from complete strangers after a tornado destroyed over 1,000 structures in Andover one week ago.
For many people in the community, Friday was the first time they have been able to come into the neighborhoods impacted and roll up their sleeves. One homeowner said she couldn’t thank people enough.
“Just perfect strangers. I was telling someone, ‘I didn’t realize how many people I have befriended or my kids.’ We really feel their love and support,” said Shaneka Perry.
Seven days after the tornado touched down in Andover, Perry is still finding some pieces of her home.
“It’s just bringing those emotions up — because I thought I had already dealt with them and thought we were just going to move on and just get rid of it,” said Perry.
On Friday morning, over 20 volunteers helped to clear out what remains of her home. Some saw the devastation in person for the first time.
“Talking to the mom who lives here and talking about her kids and what they are doing. You know, as a mom, you think, ‘Gosh, to go through that …,’ it’s a lot to take in,” said Jessika Mayer, who was volunteering on Friday.
“To see the devastation … you truly can’t understand it until you get here and you can see it and that kinda logic to feel it as well,” said Richie Rhea, who was also volunteering on Friday.
Perry said the help is easing dealing with her insurance, which she said is finally working with her. But the road to recovery remains long.
“My oldest daughter that’s college, she’s a freshman, and we are bringing her back. We are bringing her back — to see all of this,” said Perry while holding back tears, knowing that her daughter will come home to find her home and neighborhood in ruins.
Volunteer efforts will continue on Saturday. For anyone who would like to sign up, click here to find out more information.