SUNRISE (CBS4) – Plantation and Sunrise homeowners whose residences were damaged or destroyed in last Tuesday’s tornado met with local officials on Saturday to discuss the next steps in moving forward.

Homeowners met at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at a Sunrise-hosted Town Hall meeting in the community room at Flamingo Park, 12855 NW Eighth St. where the commission, Sunrise police officials, fire and other departments gave them guidance on what’s next in the rebuilding efforts.

During the meeting, Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan told the gathering they the city had hauled away 575 cubic yards of debris.  He also reported 53 city personnel were deployed in the first 24 hours, but Mayor Mike Ryan insisted, “the only statistic that matters is zero, and that’s the number of lives lost.”

One hundred and 36 homes were received damage from the twister, six were completely destroyed.

Ryan said he hopes the clean-up will be complete early this week.

Residents picked up information about the permitting process, and many simply took time to thank the emergency responders and their neighbors.

“The mayor was there, the fire [department] was there and the chief was there,” said YomTov “Vivi” Assidon, who lost his home.

Broward County is seeking a disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration so tornado victims can apply for low-interest loans to repair their homes, the Sun Sentinel reported.  The loans would cover only uninsured losses.

Slideshow: Tornado Damage & South Florida Flooding

Members of the state’s Department of Emergency Management arrived early Thursday morning to take notes and assess the damage so they can determine the monetary amount to award the neighborhoods.

Neither city can qualify for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Association because not enough homes were damaged.

According to the National Weather Service, the EF-2 tornado with tops winds of 120 mph had a width of about 125 yards and tore a path of destruction for more than a mile.


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