PORT ORCHARD, Wash. - - Nearly two weeks after a tornado hit the town of Port Orchard, city and county officials are meeting with those who were impacted by the storm.
Hundreds of people suffered property damage and are still trying to get their lives back on track.
Fortunately there were no deaths related to the E-F-2 tornado in Port Orchard but hundreds of homes were damaged and now the victims are asking Kitsap County to do whatever it can to help them recover.
Dozens of people affected by the tornado in Port Orchard came out Sunday night to express their frustration over uprooted trees being left behind, a lack of power, losing their temporary housing and even looting.
“I can’t leave my yard. We’ve had somebody try and loot my house with what I do have in my yard. I’m sit there going, what next?” said Wendy Askren.
Residents complained about local police agencies disappearing from the area soon after the tornado, leaving them vulnerable. They were also upset about garbage not being picked up and having to pay dumping fees to clean up storm debris.
“It’s people like me that live out in the country that are coming into town, gathering up volunteers and getting people to load these trucks. I’m over $500 deep in dump fees personally. I know other people are out a bunch of dump fees,” said one man who lives in Kitsap County.
A Kitsap County Commissioner explained that a lack of funding is part of the reason why the county hasn’t been able to do more for the community.
"I prepared a hand out that's basically a guidance for debris management. Because there is no funding available from either the federal government or the state, we really do encourage you all to contact your insurance providers first," said Charlotte Garrido, Kitsap County Commissioner for District 2.
Officials also say they’re forming a coalition of local agencies, non-profits and the faith-based organizations to create a Tornado Recovery Committee which will focus on the area’s long-term recovery.
After the meeting, tornado victims were able to talk directly to local officials about their particular situations and more importantly, with one another about how they’ll pick up the pieces from here.