The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

February 22, 2012

Mother, daughter back in repaired home

Rebuild Joplin, Catholic Charities, AmeriCorps volunteers cited

JOPLIN, Mo. — In Chelby Reynolds’ newly repaired home, there’s a ladder and a framed picture, both covered in signatures.

The names are from across the country and belong to the volunteers who helped repair her storm-damaged house.

“They were out there in the snow and the rain,” Reynolds said. “People say there aren’t people like that out there. There are.”

Rebuild Joplin, Catholic Charities and volunteers from AmeriCorps officially welcomed Reynolds, her daughter, Mary, and their four dogs home on Wednesday afternoon.

Reynolds, who purchased the home, her first, a year before the May 22 tornado, had been remodeling since she moved in.

JUST IN TIME FOR STORM

She had scraped wallpaper, mudded and repainted, and said she had finally finished her home improvement projects when the tornado hit.

Though her home, on 14th Street near Range Line Road, was on the edge of the disaster zone, the wind had filled the house with water, mud and debris. There were holes in the roof, damage to trees and broken windows. Reynolds said the siding looked as if someone had fired a gun at the house.

“It was a big mess,” she said. “I remember trying to mop (water) up with rags.”

Reynolds and her daughter stayed with Reynolds’ father in the storm’s aftermath while water poured in through holes, damaging the home and furnishings further. The ceiling began to grow mold.

“I saved and I saved” and worked hard to buy the house in the first place, she said, adding that without repairs, the house wouldn’t be worth what she owed on it.

She was underinsured and had limited financial resources.

When she was told, for insurance purposes, to wait for a damaged tree to give way and fall on the house, she called Catholic Charities for help.

While she found someone else to help her with the tree, she began working with Norma Hernandez, a case manager with Catholic Charities, to begin repairs on the home.

“When (Hernandez) called and said they were going to start, I just started bawling,” Reynolds said.

Text Only
May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • Local new-home construction catches up to previous pace

    After a slow start early in this fiscal year for Joplin, the construction of new houses has resumed at the pace that existed in fiscal year 2013, when permits for new houses averaged more than 16 per month. Since November, the beginning of Joplin’s fiscal year, permits for 118 houses have been issued for a total cost of $12.8 million. The average value has been about $108,000.

    June 11, 2014

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 060314 Farmers rebuild 1_72.jpg Farmers Insurance writes manual based on experience from Joplin disaster recovery

    Joplin’s housing recovery from the 2011 tornado is one for the books. Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, announced Tuesday that not only will Farmers Insurance stick with Rebuild Joplin to repair and replace the homes left on the local group’s waiting list, but the company also will kick off a similar recovery effort today for the city of Sea Bright, New Jersey, based on a book it has written to expedite disaster recovery that is based on its experience in Joplin.

    June 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • r052214butterflygarden.jpg New park feature opens on tornado anniversary to encourage healing

    Cunningham Park has become an emotional place for Pamela Praytor. The name of her son, Christopher Lucas, is engraved on a monument that stands in the park in memory of the 161 people who were killed in the May 2011 tornado. “Even though I cry when I come, it’s OK,” she said. “It’s part of the healing.”

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • r051214greenbldgs3.jpg Home, business cited as examples of energy efficiency, strength

    Ramona and Charles “Hugh’’ Shields were not the least bit reluctant on Monday to open their new house in the tornado zone to a bunch of strangers who had a lot of questions. “I used to live in a house where I had to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to keep my feet warm — not anymore,’’ said Ramona Shields. “This house is nice and warm in the winter, and nice and cool in the summer.’’

    May 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mercy Health System to receive $23 million FEMA grant

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Mercy Health System of Joplin with $23 million in public assistance funding by the end of the year. The disaster relief was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    April 25, 2014

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creator of Joplin-based ‘Dear World’ exhibit features Boston bombing victims in new work

    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

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