Project STORM works to repair disaster damage

HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - A local volunteer group is working to help Harrisburg recover from a deadly tornado.

The group calls itself Project STORM. It's made up of local people, churches and civic groups who have come together to help Harrisburg rebuild.

Wednesday, a volunteer worked to rip out the floor of a home that wasn't damaged in the Leap Day tornado, but needs a lot of work.

The volunteers will renovate a foreclosed home, donated by a bank, to transform it into a livable home.

"They're gonna take the flooring out and put new flooring in," said Project STORM remodeling coordinator Bosco Watson. "Somebody will move into this, who lost their house, it'll be for a storm victim."

This is just one effort underway in town.

Dan Duke says tornado took out his garage and damaged his roof in the Dorrisville neighborhood.

'I think we were all expecting at least a little help from FEMA to say no twice," said Duke, "We did need help over here."

Now he's hoping Project STORM will come through for him and his neighbors.

"My neighbors behind me got leveled," said Duke. "I hope to see them come back here. Hopefully this city can help them too."

Joanne Brown's Gaskins City mobile home was destroyed in the EF04 tornado. After FEMA's refusal she says she wasn't sure what to do.

"I didn't know how I was going to make it," Brown said.

Thanks to the Dorrisville Baptist Church, the Lions Club and Project STORM, Brown now has a brand new home.

"It was wonderful, I wanted to come back home this made it so I could," said Brown.

The effort has had its challenges - namely finding the people who need help.

"It took a little longer to do the assessments. The houses were gone, people were living with relatives or had gone other places," Watson said.

But Watson says things are really starting to take off now.

"In June, we'll have probably 40-50 people a day working at different sites remodeling," said Watson. "They need help rebuilding a house, maybe a roof or whatever the situation, we can help."

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