'We're still in a whirlwind,' resident says a week after Dexter tornado hit
One week ago, time stood still for Bob Jazwinski.
He, his pregnant wife, Katie, and their two small children hid in a closet while a tornado turned their Dexter Township home into a “dollhouse,” exposing open walls.
Today, he admitted his head was “still in a whirlwind,” but was thankful for the quick response of the Dexter Area Fire Department.
“We’d still be in that closet if it weren't for the fire department. I don’t know how they got here that fast,” he said.
Both teachers, they said they’d rehearsed a tornado drill two days before they needed to implement those instructions to save themselves and their children.
“We're coaches, we were cool and calm,” he said.
Katie is a teacher at Mill Creek Middle School in Dexter.
But a week later, Bob said it’s really starting to sink it. “A tornado went past my wife and kids,” he said. "I'm learning not to say no to any help that he’s offered. It's hard as the man of the house."
The couple was grateful to a group out of Saline called Pour-Out, Inc, that travels the world helping at disaster sites. He said they’d been clearing the family’s property since Friday. “If they weren’t here, I don’t know what we’d do,” he said.
A week after an EF-3 tornado left a path of destruction through the Dexter area, residents still are emptying contents of their homes, working with insurance and construction companies, while coming to terms with what happened.
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
“We got our stuff out and have moved about a mile away,” she said, adding that she feels very fortunate that no one was hurt.
Allen Hale, one of the owners of the car wash and laundromat on Second Street that was severely damaged, said “I’ll never forget the day and how everyone came together.”
He said he was at home when he saw on TV that his business had been badly damaged. “I was in total shock when I walked up,” he said.
Since then, “the people of Dexter have been fantastic. They've looked out for us,” he said, and “We hope to be up and running as soon as possible.”
Janet McDole, a trained Skywarn Spotter and an admitted weather geek, said that her severe weather training worked perfectly when a tornado ripped through her Carriage Hills neighborhood in Dexter Township.
A week after her home was twisted off its foundation, she’s still thankful that everything went the way it was supposed to.
By herself when the tornado hit, she headed into a closet in a lower level below a stairway, and her dog was safely closed in another room.
Living at a hotel outside her home, her home’s contents are slowly being moved out and most of the yard debris is gone or stacked in piles.
McDole says they lost about 40 very large trees. She's not living in her home now but, “I’m here and so is my husband,”
Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Dexter stories, visit our Dexter page.