Cleanup Efforts Continue In Tornado-Damaged Areas
HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Homeowners continue to clean up after Wednesday’s tornado in Westmoreland County.
The severe weather has caused millions of dollars in damage from the more suburban neighborhoods in Hempfield Township to the most rural areas of the community.
Tina Marie Collier lives off of Monkey Wrench Road. Her circular-style, 1970’s home sits surrounded by destruction.
“Luck of the draw, I don’t know,” she said if the tornado’s path. “It took some places and it didn’t take others.”
Her home would appear to be directly in the path of a tornado, but it suffered only water damage inside. It’s still standing.
“I’m pretty sure it wasn’t quite completely on the ground when it came through, cause I think if it was, it would be a slab right now,” said Collier.
Down the road, Upper Lane is all but impassable, but once you get to the top, the site is beyond belief.
What was once a two-story home is now in ruins, the second floor on the ground and the roof was ripped off completely. Another home not far away has a tree in it.
“I don’t know what to say. I feel terrible that that happened to them,” said Jim Bertoline, the next door neighbor.
Bertoline has problems of his own. His cement block garage is gone.
“I can’t fathom the power of Mother Nature,” he said.
Also, a tractor trailer sits halfway up a hill in the middle of a field.
Meanwhile, one can’t help but sense that for many, the terror and shock has worn off, but now comes the incredible task of getting back to normal.
“My main focus is just getting it cleaned up,” he said. “Let’s get the debris put away and taken out of here. Make repairs to the house and move on.”