Ruston asking residents, business owners with property damage from tornado to provide plan

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Those with property damage have until October 12th to notify the city of their plans

RUSTON, La. (9/23/19)— Just five months ago, a deadly tornado ripped through Ruston, leaving many without homes and numerous businesses destroyed.

Residents have been working tirelessly to get back to normal. Some buildings are still under construction, while others have been reduced to an empty plot of land. Now, the city is asking those with damage to inform them about their plans.

Residents and business owners with property damage only have a few more weeks to let the mayor’s office know what they plan to do, whether they plan to tear down or if they plan to rebuild.

The mayor’s office has sent out notices to business and homeowners with damage to remind them the city needs to be aware of their plans.

“The plan could be, I hired a contractor but he can’t start until December 1st. It could be, you know, I’m working on my insurance, we haven’t gotten the check yet,” said Mayor Ronny Walker.

Mayor Walker says even those without insurance need to let the city know, that way they can start their plans to condemn and demolish the building, which could take several months. He says the letters have been mailed to the damaged homes and businesses, but make sure your checking the post office too.

“If you had sent a letter to my house, I wouldn’t get it unless I had a forwarding address,” said Tyler Storms, whose home and business was damaged by the tornado.

Storms says he wasn’t receiving any mail at home.

“The mail box was empty day, after day, after day. And then finally, I went to the post office and asked them what’s going on and it turns out that they would not deliver mail to my house,” said Storms.

Storms says it’s unclear whether safety concerns was the reasoning behind the absence of his mail. Those with damage are expected to notify the city of their plans by October 12th.

Mayor Walker says there are still over 75 property owners with damage who have not reached out to the city yet. He says those who are trying to provide the city with their plans can write a letter or email to Ruston City Hall.

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