Washington Terrace tornado victims slowly recovering

Posted at 6:12 PM, Sep 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-28 20:12:39-04

WASHINGTON TERRACE – It’s been nearly a week since a tornado tore through a Washington Terrace neighborhood, and residents are slowly getting back on their feet.

Fox 13 News spoke to the Sewell family, who has the only uninhabitable home on the block of 4700 South and 200 East.

Gaelynn Sewell talked with insurance adjusters Wednesday about the damage to her home and what’s next.

“So far, they’re saying at least 6 months, maybe longer," she said.

The tornado ripped the roof off their home, where they’ve lived for 22 years, and shattered all their belongings.

“My husband and I were in there," Sewell said. "We could have easily been killed."

But with all the destruction, they see signs of hope and cherish the times they have together.

“For all of us to be at that hotel, all four of us to be there together, it’s so OK, it’s so OK,” Sewell said.

Down the street, debris and trees have been cleared from some homes, but it’s still a long haul for residents to rebuild.

City leaders are assessing the final costs. They estimate millions of dollars in damages.

“We’re a small community, 9,400 people, and we’ll take all the help we can get from the county or the state or even the federal government,” said Mark Allen, Washington Terrace City Mayor.

Allen is grateful no one was seriously hurt, and he said he is especially proud of how the community has banded together.

“We had people going home, driving through going home to Idaho, driving home to Wyoming, they stopped in, they heard about it, stopped in to help,” Allen said.

The city is still in need of volunteers to help with clean up and donations for tornado victims. Visit the American Red Cross in Utah to help.