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Hosford community rebuilds after tornado, needs help with repair efforts

Posted at 6:18 PM, May 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-24 11:07:02-04

HOSFORD, Fla. (WTXL) — Nearly one month after an EF 2 tornado hit Hosford, people impacted by the storm are still trying to rebuild and resume normal life.

Ernest and Wanda Hemanes lost two homes from that storm. They said the rebuilding process has not been easy for them, with so much damaged and destroyed by that tornado.

"We're retired, we neither one work," Wanda said. "We don't have a lot put up to do it but we have a lot of friends that's been helping clean up and stuff and that's wonderful."

Friends, family and strangers have helped people like the Hemanes family clear their property and begin to rebuild. But, there is still lots to do.

Almost one month after the storm, damage like is still evident across 65 with people still trying to rebuild.

The damage was not enough to qualify for state funding, with the storm impacting about 20 homes and 100 people in the area.

"Disaster is the same to us as if it were 100 different homes gone. It's just hard," Ernest said.

A want to ease that hardship is what made Liberty County Sheriff Buddy Money and Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith team up to raise money via Go Fund Me for people impacted by the storm.

"You have a car, you lose it, that's not a big deal. You can get another one," Smith said. "But when you lose your home, where you sleep every night, where you eat, where you raise your family, that's catastrophic."

The Hemanes said they are grateful for both sheriff's offices and the people donating to help tornado survivors.

"I tell them when they're here, but this is a good time to tell them thank you, everybody, because we appreciate it," Ernest said.

If you are interested in donating and helping people rebuild, a link to the Go Fund Me page can be found on both theLiberty Countyand Franklin County Sheriff's Facebook page. You can also send a check directly to the sheriff's office.