KENTWOOD, Mich. (July 9, 2014) – It was a tornado that ripped a neighborhood apart but brought the people who live in the hardest hit areas together.
In the middle of all the chaos we are hearing stories of survival.
The Ruster family’s home, in the 4000 block of Poinsettia Avenue in Kentwood, was destroyed by a tornado in just seconds. They told us it might be as long as 8 months before they can once again call it home.
In the meantime, they are taking it day-by-day with their neighbors by their side.
One of those neighbors is Mitch Ware, whose said his home was also in the path of the tornado.
“The vinyl siding started to whistle,” he said. “It was so loud it was deafening.”
He considers himself one of the lucky ones on the block.
“The power of that wind is really indescribable,” he said. “You have to live through it to understand how powerful it is, how fast it can come up and how fast it can go away.”
It easy to see why he feels lucky when you look across the street at Andrew and Tammy Ruster’s home.
Three trees came crashing down into their house, landing feet from where they were attempting to take cover.
When the storm passed they attempted to exit the house through the back porch but fallen trees blocked all sides.
The family went back inside and with the help of neighbors pried open the front door just wide enough that they were able to squeeze out to freedom.
They were then taken in by Ware who provided them with a place to stay for the next two days while they looked for other accommodations.
“When disasters happen to families or communities, it either breaks you apart or it helps you bond together,” said Ware.
Ware said the only thing being taken apart in this Kentwood neighborhood are the fallen trees.