Parkersburg: One Month After the Tornado

By: Claire Kellett, Anchor/Reporter


By Claire Kellett

PARKERSBURG - One month ago Wednesday, a total of six tornadoes tore through Parkersburg, New Hartford, Dunkerton and Hazleton. It was an EF-5 tornado that leveled hundreds of homes in the Butler County town of Parkersburg. People there say they are proud of the progress in Parkersburg.

Days after the EF-5 tornado hit, Parkersburg looked like a big pile of debris. One month later, with the help of volunteers, the town is slowly taking shape again. Families are finding their way back home.

"No leaving for us, not an option," says Deb Oldenburger.

The Oldenburgers are some of the only residents now living in the damaged part of town. The family set up shop in a camper while they finish repairing their home right next door. It's close living quarters for mom, dad, and seven-year-old triplet girls.

"We're kind of ready to get out of the camper," says Oldenburger.

Moving date is just three weeks away. The Oldenburgers are optimistic others will follow their lead.

"It's a good feeling to look out my window and see the rebuilding process," says Oldenburger.

Like the Oldenburgers, people are slowly but surely starting to rebuild. Construction on this house just started today. And already about 75 people have applied for building permits.

"You see double emotion with people, they lost their homes, but they are now get to design house any way they want it," says City Clerk Gary Hinders.

And many of the more than 250 displaced homeowners will have different addresses in town.

"A lot of people have been trading lots, could have new neighbors coming back," says Oldenburger.

As long as they have neighbors, the Oldenburgers don't care who lives next door. They just want the same people to stay in Parkersburg.

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