The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Millbury residents Edward and Julie Blank began the process of rebuilding their Main Street home immediately after an EF-4 tornado struck on June 5 last year.
 
For two months following the tornado, they stayed with the Bihn family in Perrysburg, and the following four-and-a-half months rented a condominium in Oregon.
 
On December 17, they moved into their new home.
 
“I love it. I would trade my new home to have my old one back and to have our friends that were lost in the tornado back in a heartbeat,” Ed said.
 
Still, when storms approach, it doesn’t get easier for the Blank family.
 
“I think everybody does well when the weather is nice,” Ed said. “But, as soon as there is questionable weather coming or bad storms or we read about disasters in other areas, it’s different. We are not just tornado victims, we are disaster victims, and when you see people’s lives affected by disaster you have a special place in your heart from that point forward.”

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The family of 21-year-old Lake Township resident Gerald Lathrop wondered where he was when he did not show up for his birthday or when they got together for Easter.

That’s because Gerald is at the cemetery visiting the grave of his former girlfriend, Bailey Bowman, on important occasions.

Last June 5, Gerald and Bailey were traveling along State Route 795 heading towards his parents’ home on Luckey Road. They never got there.

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CDR John C. Hazlett, Commanding Officer, Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC), Toledo, said that local Navy personnel are working to help create a museum for the City of Oregon and the Harbor View neighborhood.

Commander Hazlett says that on Sunday afternoon approximately a dozen Navy Seabees volunteered to help restore a former church located at 2083 Autokee Street into a museum.  The museum will serve not only Harbor View, but the entire Oregon community.

The Harbor View Historical Society and Museum is the former Harbor View Missionary Baptist Church.

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Millbury Mayor Michael Timmons remembers walking through the village the Sunday afternoon following the June 5 tornado, surveying the devastation.

Walking with him was Toledo Mayor Michael Bell.

“He looked at me and basically offered any help I needed,” Timmons said.

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For many in Northwest Ohio, news coverage of tornadoes that devastated parts of the nation’s mid-section seems like déjà vu – bringing back raw memories for Northwest Ohioans.

For Lake Schools, the tornadoes have inspired a desire to help. Last week, the district held a collection drive for cash, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food items and bottled water to help tornado victims of Joplin, Mo.

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