DRY RIDGE, Ky. - Whether you believe it or not, the anniversary of the deadly tornados that ripped through Northern Kentucky and Clermont County is in six weeks. 9 On Your Side has learned that the recovery effort has not finished.
"It's definitely flown by," said Clermont County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA) Director, Pam Broughton. "The recovery process will take many more months and possible a couple more years."
Broughton has been overseeing the Ohio Valley Long Term Recovery Committee for Clermont, Brown, Pike, and Adams counties. The group helped survivors find assistance that could not be met through other public assistance programs. That could be connecting people with a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program or a non profit group to help fill in the gaps where insurance may have fell short.
"I can't say enough about how critical the faith based and non profit organizations are," said Broughton. "They are critical for the recovery."
One example is Habitat for Humanity in Cincinnati. The home building organization began constructing a home in Dry Ridge, Ky. for a woman who is raising her three granddaughters. Habitat's goal was to have the home finished by Christmas.
Scott Noel from Florence, Ky. is the site leader in Dry Ridge, Ky. This is the first opportunity he has had to lead a project.
"It's been a little hard," said Noel. "If the weather is good; it's a nice sunny warm day; I seem to have some volunteers on the weekends."
Volunteers have been sparse. Noel says it could be the distance to the site, weather conditions, or even the influenza outbreak.
"Of course we had Thanksgiving, and then of course we went through Christmas and New Years," said Noel.
This is one of two long term assistance recovery projects of Grant County's initial 38 claims.
"We're doing drywall and hopefully we'll be finished with that by the end of this week," said Noel.
As of November, 40 of 58 Ohio VAlley LTRC's claims for assistance had been officially closed. Some of the total number includes filings from two storms later in the 2012. Overall, 12 low interest loans for $619,800 had been process by the Small Business Administration and another $191,010 was approved for 33 tornado related registrations in Brown and Clermont counties through the State of Ohio Individual Assistance Program.
Broughton said that its the small groups that made the recovery possible.
"I learn so much everyday from these faith based and non profit organizations," said Broughton. "I can't even explain it how awesome it is and how valuable they are as an asset [to the recovery.]"
To volunteer at the Dry Ridge, Ky. Habitat for Humanity site, you can contact Tara Price at (513) 942-9211 or sign up at http://tristatehabitat.volunteerhub.com/. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age.