Trenton lost rental properties in tornadoes, rebuilding is slow - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Trenton lost rental properties in tornadoes, rebuilding is slow

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TRENTON, DADE COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- Ten weeks since the April tornados and many communities are now coming to grips with just how long it will take to get back to some form of normalcy.

In Trenton, residents are working hard.  It will be a while, but most will come back.

"It's going.  It's going real slow," says Joshua Watts, Manager of Edgewood Townhomes.

Contractors are working in Trenton, but in many cases, they're working for free as apartment complex owners wait for insurance checks.

"It's been you know, what, three months. What we are doing is waiting for the payments to come so we can pay our contractors. Where they can keep on moving on," says Watts.

Edgewood Townhomes saw $75,000 in damage, 12 of the 22 units are vacant.

Rental properties across Dade County were wrecked by the April tornado.

"We estimate we lost probably 70% of our low income housing," says Reece Fauscett, Pastor of Trenton United Methodist Church.

"Couple of these neighborhoods, you're talking about a total destruction. Normally it's the stuff you only see in the movies. Everybody is used to a little F1 or F2 every now and then but on this kind of scale you know it's an amazing thing," says Joseph Chambers, Chairman of Dade Organizations Acting in Disaster. 

Five of six apartment complexes were effected, only two remain livable. 

"For instance, Village Green Apartments had to take a bulldozer and just wipe it out," says Fauscett.

What about the residents? With a lack of rental properties now, what are they doing?

"They're living with, you know, mom, sisters, brothers, aunts, whoever they can live with," says Watts.

If anything, these hard times have brought people together.

"We learn to value what we have. We learn to value each other and I do think it makes a community better. The community discovers a lot of fine things about itself," says Fauscett.

"90% of the ones I talked to they are coming back here. They're not gone because they like Dade County, it's a good place to live," says Ted Rumley, Dade County Executive.

Trenton and Dade County are still in need of volunteer labor and building supplies.

A first sweep of debris removal should be completed by next month. Then leaders will reassess.

GDOT should be free to begin clearing state roads by Monday.

As in most of the hard-hit areas, there are several tornado victims in Trenton who didn't have insurance, and they're not getting much help from the government.

Dade Organizations Acting in Disaster, or DOAD, has identified 75 cases like this. So they're helping those people get back into their homes.

"As these cases come in we're matching cases with volunteer groups and sending them out in the community," says Fauscett.

The group needs volunteer groups, building supplies, and financial assistance.

 If you can help in any way, call Trenton United Methodist Church at (706) 657-6170.

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