Cleanup efforts continue 1 month after DeLand tornado

EF-2 tornado caused $8 milllion in damages along 4-mile path

Cleanup efforts continue 1 month after DeLand tornado
Cleanup efforts continue 1 month after DeLand tornado

DeLAND, Fla. – Piles of debris remain outside of some damaged and destroyed homes on Thursday still waiting to be hauled away one month after an EF-2 tornado ripped through 4.6 miles of the city.

Many residents, like Karen Conkle Parkin, said they’re also still waiting on home repairs to begin.

“Our roof in the back, our screened-in porch is totally gone, every one of our trees, all our fencing,” Conkle Parkin said.

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Conkle Parkin showed News 6 a picture of her backyard that she once called a tropical paradise. She said she’s thankful her house isn’t destroyed but is feeling the financial strain knowing financial aid isn’t on the way for her or her neighbors.

“What criteria must one need in order to be eligible for FEMA? We have to have a new roof put on, we went three weeks without any power,” she said.

It's been about a month since the EF-2 tornado hit DeLand. It's a hurry up and wait game for some residents who say they're still waiting on repairs. Pictures are from today.

Posted by Loren Korn News 6 on Thursday, September 17, 2020

City spokesman Chris Graham said the tornado left just over $8 million in damages and affected 163 properties.

“The toll of the damage didn’t meet the threshold for supplying assistance to the city or to individuals. So, that leaves everyone in a hard spot,” he said. “One thing our commission decided to do is make sure that we don’t turn off water for any of the customers in that area. We’re not charging any late or delinquent fees on any utilities in that area as well.”

[MORE: Video: EF-2 tornado causes ‘significant damage’ in DeLand | DeLand tornado caused $7.4 million in damages]

Conkle Parkin said rebuilding has been a slow process that she hopes will pick up soon.

“Just wishing somebody would start working on something. Even if not my house, work on hers, work on his, work on theirs. Show us that it’s going to be done,” she said.

Volusia County said if residents still have vegetative debris, guidelines for yard waste and removal can be found here.

About the Author:

Loren Korn is a native Texan who joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2014. She was born and raised in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism.