Shiawassee county residents still cleaning up after March tornado

Published: May. 17, 2019 at 6:34 PM EDT
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(5/17/19) - It's been two months since several tornadoes touched down across eastern Shiawassee and western Genesee counties, destroying homes and uprooting trees.

While recovery is taking place, it has been a slow process.

Even now, it's not business as normal, despite the outpouring of help and support to get residents back on their feet.

A tangled mass of wood and metal is all that remains of Great Lakes Fusion, a Shiawasee county business ruined by a March tornado.

The damage, estimated at 6 million dollars, was so great, demolition of the rest of the building was the only option, as the business was forced to move to another location.

Bobbie Jo Bruff and her family barely escaped the tornado and is in the process of rebuilding her home and the life she knew before the twister ripped apart walls and their roof.

"We've done a lot of the work ourselves with the help of volunteers, and so that's just been amazing to be able to get things done," said Bobbie Jo Bruff, a Bancroft resident.

Bruff and her family have been living in an apartment and hope to return to their home in a couple of weeks.

Nearby, Tonya Spreeman is still reminded of that evening.

Tree limbs lay all over her yard, some snapped violently as the twister passed through.

"We moved into this house with lots of trees, lots of shade, lots of birds and we've lost them all. The trees are gone, the birds went with it because they've got no cover. Now, we're just trying to clean up the mess," added Tonya Spreeman from Bancroft.

$36k has been raised for residents in cleanup efforts from various groups, while efforts are continuing to get state help.

"This area has been hit real big, so we're seeing a lot of workers in different businesses really taking care of things," commented Anthony Suesz, a Clio carpenter.

Total damage is estimated at $10 million dollars.

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