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Tornado recovery underway

Posted: 3:39 PM, Mar 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-20 15:39:19-04

VERNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A Mid-Michigan community is still in cleanup and recovery mode hoping to move to the rebuilding stage soon, following two tornadoes that destroyed homes and businesses last Thursday.

FOX 47's Cryss Walker went to Shiawassee County's Vernon Township to get the latest on the recovery effort.

Structures leveled, homes empty and pieces of what used to be are scattered along M-71 near Main Street.

“Some of these debris fields out here are just a mile long and several hundred yards wide where you can see a barn just spread all out across a field”, said Bill Knarian from Team Rubicon.

Five days after a tornado touched down in the rural community clean-up efforts are still underway.

The twister hit 100 structures in Vernon Township.

Officials from the Shiawassee Sheriff’s Department told FOX 47 the storm left a machine shop on M-70 in ruins with $3.5 million in damages.

Disaster response crews from Team Rubicon, the Red Cross and other local agencies are doing the dirty work to clean-up the destruction left behind.

The Michigan State Defense Force also have boots on the ground running a chain operation for tree and debris removal.

The Salvation Army is putting love into every meal to feed emergency responders, keeping them energize and hydrated while they work to restore a community.

“It tells us so much about our neighbors and how we are willing to help each other in a time of need”, said Lydia Sanchez-Roag from Emergency Management Services.

Clean-up efforts in Vernon are expected to run through Sunday.

The need for an extension will be determined by response crews.