Some Hamden residents are still rebuilding a year after tornado

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH)– A year after a tornado touched down in Hamden, some residents aren’t finished rebuilding.

Robert Reed said he is almost back to normal, growing more grass and adding finishing touches to his stained fence.

“The last thing we gotta do is paint the house,” Reed said. “It’s getting there, but some people had it worse. There’s a lot of people…that walked away from their house.”

Over 200 homes were damaged in Hamden and thousands of trees were uprooted. 

Roseann Heigel said, “We had trees hit our garage. We had trees hit our shed. Our deck was built around two pine trees and they uprooted and took the whole deck out.”

While some neighborhoods are back to normal, others have a long way to go.

Related: Wednesday marks the one year anniversary since devastating tornadoes touched down in CT

Bill Link added, “If you don’t have the money the trees are going to stay there for a while and both sides of the house the roots are still up.”

On Wednesday, Hamden Mayor Curt Leng came back to the areas that were devastated. Some lawmakers are proposing an emergency declaration bill to get people the help they need. The mayor said not all tree removal was covered under homeowners insurance or FEMA.

Leng said, “We had different residents that had given us estimates between $15,000 and $75,000 on the higher side, and many folks were between the $10,000 and $20,000 area. That’s not money people have in an account that is available to use.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish held a special mass Wednesday morning and talked about the faith in the community. The parish donated 50 maple red trees to residents to replace some of the trees that were lost in the tornado.

Lana Ives said, “It’s important for re-birth. A lot of times things will come into your path in life. Devastation comes often to everywhere and it’s just so beautiful to start rebuilding again.”

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