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Johnson County residents continue cleanup after Sunday’s tornado

Collins home
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jun 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-30 19:36:40-04

JOHNSON COUNTY — Johnson County residents are still working to pick up the pieces after Sunday’s tornado.

Throughout the county, fallen trees can be seen everywhere you look — Some roughly 100-years-old.

“If I start thinking about the trees, I start choking up,” Johnson County resident Joe Collins said.

Collins says he has lived in his Johnson County home for the last few years. He says coming home to see his house after Sunday’s tornado was something he never expected.

Collins home before
Collins' home before the tornado

“We spent so much time making this place beautiful. It’s just unbelievable,” Collins said.

Collins says he finds comfort in knowing that his home is still standing. He has been working to stay busy in during the cleanup process. His family has been helping him out.

“Nobody expects you to have time for all of this,” Collins said.

Collins' home after
Collins' home after the tornado.

Collins says that as a homeowner, you can’t prepare for something like this. He adds that he is uninsured, so he must decide what he’s willing to fix. He says at some point, you run out of money.

“Insurance has paid $111 so far, and that’s just on the things that I covered. The rest of the stuff is our responsibility,” Collins said.

That’s the reality for many homeowners who are left cleaning up after Sunday’s tornado, but what about those who can’t afford to have someone clear the debris?

“The city — The highway department has equipment,” Collins said.

Johnson County Emergency Management says clearing of the debris started today, and there is no timeline on how long it will take to get everything cleared up.

The department adds that it can’t come on private property to remove debris. It suggests moving the debris close to the curb so they can pick it up.