One year later, Kokomo residents still rebuilding

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KOKOMO, Ind.  -It’s been one year since tornadoes devastated Kokomo. And despite the time, many residents and homeowners are still trying to rebuild.

One year ago, the Kokomo neighborhood across the street from the Markland mall sat directly in the tornado’s path and sustained massive amounts of damage.

Now, lots of new construction lines its streets. Plenty of homes and trees still bear the scars of the tornadoes wake, however residents in the neighborhood say the Kokomo community is now stronger than it was before.

“In lots of ways, it’s really a coming together of neighbors, it really is,” Peggy Stephenson said.

Peggy and her husband Dick just moved back into their home in May. The Stephenson’s say their home sustained more than $60,000 in damage. Despite moving back in, Dick Stephenson says the couple is still involved in a fight with their insurance company.

“We still got about eight thousand dollars they haven’t paid us yet,” he said.

They’re not the only ones still fighting.

Jerry C., a property owner, was just beginning work on one of the properties he owns when he spoke to FOX59 Thursday. He described the process of rebuilding as being “difficult” and “tiresome” and says he’s undecided on if he’ll finish the work on his final property.

“I’m going to have it boxed in by winter I promise, or sold, or I’ll sign it over, I don’t know,” he said.

Community Volunteer Kevin Sprinkle told CBS4 the highs and lows of the rebuilding process are part of the “changing landscape,” later adding that the same could be said of life.

“Life throws curveballs at you. And we either move on or we can lay down and die,” he said.

Like the Stephenson’s Sprinkle says the past year , and it’s highs and lows,  has  brought the community closer together.

“And we found out that the strength in the community is not the homes, and not the trees, not the businesses, it’s the people,” he said.

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