Trotwood works to rebuild one year after the Memorial Day Tornadoes

TROTWOOD — Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald estimates the city is at about 80 percent recovery following the May 27, 2019 EF4 tornado that caused widespread damage.

On the one-year anniversary of the tornado, McDonald, in an interview with News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy, she is proud of the community’s effort to rebuild this past year.

“I look at this community now – it just speaks to the strength and the fortitude and the resilience of the people who are committed to live in the community we love.” McDonald said.

Among the rebuilding projects nearing completion is Westbrooke Village, the apartment complex hit hard on Memorial Day 2019.

Our News Center 7 team visited the property Wednesday and reported many of the buildings have been completed, with residents returning to much of the complex, and some construction continuing at parts of the property.

Shamika Milliner was one of the Westbrooke residents who took shelter during the storm. Hiding in a closet, she could only listen last year as the EF4 twister’s winds ripped the roof off her unit.

“I definitely remember being very grateful that I wasn’t hurt,” she said Wednesday.

Milliner has not returned to Westbrooke, but said she has been in touch with former neighbors in the last 12 months.

“I think everyone has different stories,” she said. “A lot of people I know were able to get places – get houses – but some people are still struggling to this day.”

When it comes to the recovery still ahead, McDonald hopes to have it completed this summer. She said she believes most residents displaced by the tornado have either returned to Trotwood, or still plan to.

McDonald said the hard work citizens and volunteers have put in over the last year are a testament to the community.

“It’s been a year long bump in the road, but it’s one that continues to speak to the strength of the people,” she said. “I mean you’re talking about people that (previously worked at) GM, and Delphi, and Chrysler; these are hard working people. They understand what work is.”

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