Families still not in their homes one year after tornado hits east Greensboro

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Looking at her boarded up home on Avalon Road, Cathy Robinson said it's disappointing recovery has taken so long.

“Because we should have been in the house by now, you know," she said. “[It] makes me want to cry.”

Robinson explained that a tree fell on their home when a tornado ripped through east Greensboro one year ago.

"[It] destroyed the living room, the kitchen, water damage throughout the whole house,” Robinson said.

Her husband and their granddaughter were forced to find a new house, paid for by FEMA. They started repairs in September, but she said the loan service stopped sending money two months later.

“I never thought I’d be in this predicament,” Robinson said.

Greensboro City Councilwoman Sharon Hightower said that nearly 200 families had to be rehoused following the storm.

Unlike the Robinsons, she said some never started repairing their homes.

“They may have gotten insurance and collected it, and may have just gone on and moved on, but now their house is left behind,” she said.

Hightower said the biggest challenges have been locating homeowners and financing rebuilds or repairs.

"We’ve asked our state legislature to help us with a million dollars, and that million dollars will go toward repairing homes in the community, it is housing dollars we’re asking for,” she said.

She added that they hope to bring people back as owners, promoting investment in east Greensboro.

"It’s almost like an opportunity opened up, for potential and possibilities for what we know is over here in the east,” Hightower said.

Robinson said she isn't sure when she will be able to move back in, but she's grateful her family is safe with a roof over their heads.

“God has been with us through thick and thin. So we manage, we’re working it out,” she said.

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