Miami County marks progress, rebuilding still to come one year after Jan. 2020 tornadoes

Miami County marks progress, rebuilding still to come one year after Jan. 2020 tornadoes

TROY — Jonny Wright remembers the sinking feeling one year ago as he walked into his family’s Troy Salon and heard the sound of falling water.

“It was emotional,” he said. “There was an actual waterfall in the center of the salon – just dumping water.”

The water damage was a result of one of the EF0 tornadoes that touched down in Miami County on Jan. 11, 2020, causing damage in Troy – the worst of damage right in the city’s downtown area.

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Ruby’s Salon was among the businesses that had to temporarily close for repairs – a construction process Wright said took the better part of this past year – with the family salon reopening in October.

“It’s been a long, frustrating year,” he said. “I think most of the process it was like, ‘Oh, just a couple more weeks, give us a couple more weeks.’ That happened for about eight months straight.”

A year after the storm, Ruby’s is back open and Wright said he’s pleased to be back in his apartment above the business.

It’s part of a rebuilding effort that continues in downtown Troy, where some areas remain a construction zone.

“It’s been a tough year for everybody,” Troy Mayor Robin Oda told News Center 7′s Sean Cudahy Monday. “Not only were we trying to recover from tornado issues, we went right into COVID and right into a shutdown.”

The twisters came as a huge shock for Oda, who was on her 11th day as Mayor. She said in addition to the businesses, the city had more than 100 homes damaged. But she remains grateful it was not worse.

“We had no injuries – no physical injuries – no deaths, no buildings completely destroyed,” Oda said. “We got off so lucky. We’re very blessed.”

Wright shares a similar perspective, looking back on the year – and now enjoying a newly renovated Ruby’s Salon.

“Was it frustrating? Absolutely,” he said. “But there’s a lot of great things that have happened, and I really shouldn’t complain.”