Trying to get back to 'normal' in Moore
Donations are sorted for victims of the Moore tornado
May 24th, 2013
02:11 PM ET

Trying to get back to 'normal' in Moore

By Nova Safo, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @Nova_Safo

Moore, Oklahoma (CNN)  - Residents have started to return to some of the worst-hit areas by Monday’s tornado. They’re assessing the damage, collect belongings that are left and begin to rebuild their lives.

Their journey is likely to take them past a small patch of land where a grill is set up in a parking lot. Here volunteers are offer, food, water, toiletries and boxes for gathering belongings from destroyed homes.

Across the street is the First Baptist Church of Moore. It’s a huge complex. And that’s where the Red Cross and FEMA have set up camp.

The tornado is now in the past. And people must now face their future.

That’s been hard for Bridgette Lunsford. She rented an apartment that’s now destroyed. She can’t get financial assistance from a home-owners insurance policy – and she’s out of money:

[2:20] "I heard from some of my co-workers at the grocery store that they were writing out checks for us to get gasoline and go stay at a hotel room and stuff. And when we got out here to FEMA, they turned us away."

The state of Oklahoma says there is FEMA money to assist disaster victims. But there is also a lot of confusion. Some people, like Lunsford, don’t know where to get help.

Bill Wheat is CEO of Trilink, a company that specializes in rebuilding homes after disasters. He says while so many homes were completely destroyed, many others have partial destruction:

[3:33] "You'll see a structure. It looks fine, but the roof was raised and sat back down where it is. Well, it’s still not structurally safe to stay in that house."

Including destruction in the periphery of the tornado’s path, officials estimate there are 12,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

Wheat says his company can only rebuild about 2 percent of them at any one time.

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