MADISON COUNTY, IL (KPLR) - It’s been a long road to recovery for victims of our wild weather: 17 days and counting for a family that was lucky to even survive a massive tree falling their home, in the Cottage Hills area of Madison County, IL, near Bethalto, May 19th.
There's no "disaster declaration", no federal help coming for them.
The storm was an awful follow up to all the rain and flooding, last month. The saturated ground was no match for the high winds that rolled in about 5:30 in the morning.
For most it’s just a May storm that’s come and gone.
It hardly feels gone on Virginia Avenue in Cottage Hills. Resident, Ruth Miller, can still hear it, and still feel it.
“It was scary,” she said. “We were sitting on the couch there. I heard the thunder and all that outside. Then I heard the wind, everything outside blowing, and then just all of the sudden ‘bam’ there goes the tree.”
“I was thanking God that my kids were ok, that was really it,” said Miller’s Mother, Jessie Busse, who owns the home and lives next door.
“I came over and saw that, I knew immediately, if it wouldn’t have been for that metal door, they would have all died. It would have taken the house down to the concrete,” said Mike Bauman, Busse’s son.
Something kept that tree up and off of Miller’s teenage grandson, who was sleeping in the room just below it. The home has been in the family for close to 50 years. Miller’s family is staying with her mother, for now.
Insurance covered the cost of removing the tree and tarping the roof. They worry that’s only going leave about half of what they need to make this a home again.
“Then to have wait until everybody decides what they need, what they’re going to do or whatever, it’s a slow process,” Busse said. “It’s nerve wracking, it’s very nerve-wracking, not knowing. We don’t know whether we’re going to have to tear the house down.”
They don't know where to turn.
The building inspector has yet to determine if the home can be repaired or needs to demolished.
He tells Fox2/News 11 he'll be looking at the damage this week.