(KTVE/KARD) The scars from the tornado that hit on Easter day in 2020 can still be felt across the twin cities.
“It’s a total loss. I didn’t know it was even that bad at the time. You know, it’s like, how many shingles are missing? He’s like, no dude, the entire roof is missing” says Joey Trappey, Owner of a rental home on south Grand street in Monroe.
He says 8 people were in the home when the tornado struck.
“The sight I saw when I pulled up was just unbelievable. Nobody died or even had to go to the hospital” Trappey said.
A year later, the lot remains vacant. The twister began in West Monroe, tearing up the Riverbend community.
Some damage can still be seen, with some homes still covered in blue tarps. Some homes have been condemned and some have been rebuilt completely, but residents have been able to return.
“Clean up has gone well. We’re continuingly contacting the property owners and making sure they have what they need so that we can help them with their process of getting all back to normal” says Mayor Staci Mitchell, City of West Monroe.
On the other side of the river, similar scenes can be found on the south side of Monroe. Byers Estates was another hard hit area; but a year later, there is virtually no evidence of tornado damage.
“It gave me an opportunity to know our community. The city is, I would say 90 percent recovered from this. It’s getting in touch with the owners, telling them they need to do something about it and to get them recovered and get the neighborhood back in order” says Mayor Friday Ellis, Mayor of Monroe.
The tornado cost the city of Monroe nearly $400,000 in labor, equipment and landfill charges, and both cities had help from the National Guard for over a month after it touched down.
Trappey also says he has sold this property to one of the homeowners behind it. He doesn’t know whether or not they’re going to build any structures on it.