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Tornado relief donations for homeowners in Hosford

Posted at 7:09 PM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-22 19:09:50-04

Nearly 20 homes in Hosford are waiting to be repaired after being severely damaged by a tornado and many families with damaged homes won't get federal aid to rebuild.
Now, a new recovery campaign is up and running to help.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is teaming up with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office to raise enough money to help people who were affected by the tornado live in their homes again.

Nearly 100 mile per hour winds from a tornado in April completely destroying two homes and severely damaging 18.

"When you go home everyday from work and you see a tarp hanging there and it's raining you just wonder how much more damage there is," said Liberty County Sheriff Buddy Money.

Debris, downed trees and tarped roofs are still a normal scene even a month later for the people living off of 65.

Money said there isn't enough damage to qualify for state funding to help with recovery and that some of the homeowners don't have homeowner's insurance. Although people in the community have helped with clean up efforts, Money said there's a lot more to be done.

"They have helped to a certain degree," said Money. "It's just that when you're looking at the damage, and even though we're only talking about 18 or 20 homes, it takes money to rebuild that."

This is something Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith knows all too well.

"We had the Eastpoint fires. We had hurricane Michael we had all this devastation," said Smith. "I'm like wow, I know how catastrophic that is and I know what it does and as the Sheriff everybody comes to you in a small county and says 'Sheriff, I need help.'"

Together, the two agencies are setting up a go fund me page for donations to help these homeowners rebuild.

"We're going to try to make an effort and try to see where it goes from here and hopefully there will be enough people to donate some of their money, whatever it may be, to help these individuals try to get back to living a normal life again," said Money.

Smith said lending a helping hand in a time of need is just part of the job.

"Sheriff's helping Sheriff's. It's what we do so we can help the people of their community," said Smith.

The link for the GoFundMe website will be posted to the Liberty County and Franklin County Sheriff's Facebook page Tuesday morning for anyone wanting to donate. People can also send a check to either Sheriff's Office.