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Tornado, Storm Damage Forces Hialeah Neighbors From Their Homes

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HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – Residents of four apartment buildings in Hialeah are trying to figure out where to go after Monday’s storms made them unsafe to live in.

The apartments, in West Hialeah, sustained serious damage after Monday’s early morning storm winds and a tornado, with top winds of 107 miles per hour, ripped through the area.

“We have nowhere else to go,” lamented Ashley Leon who lives in one of the apartments with her parents.

Leon works and attends college. She said this interruption in her life is a major hardship.

“I had an exam today so I had to find somewhere with internet today to study,” said Leon.

Clean up crews from Restorations Unlimited spent Monday and Tuesday removing debris from the apartments. The roofs were heavily damaged and extensive cleanup work will need to be done before people can move back in.

Kim Hogan watched as workers tried to remove a shed embedded in her fence – the shed doesn’t belong to her.

Monday’s tornado ripped the building from her neighbor’s yard and tossed it a good distance away.

“It just flew over the yard and into its new home,” Hogan said.

It was a temporary home, and a visual indication of the power of Monday’s tornado.

Hogan has plenty of visual indicators of the storm’s strength.

Like her brand new patio furniture, coverings, lighting and trees that are no longer there.

“Just got finishing redecorating the whole backyard,” she said.

Hogan also showed us visual reminders inside her home.

“I had about two inches of water in here.” Hogan said.

There was a gaping hole in the roof of her bedroom that left water all over her floor.

The front of her home was also drenched – the drywall crumbled to the floor.

Richard Burns, from the restoration company, said it will be awhile before residents can return.

“From what I can see most everyone is safe, is safe and sound, and that’s most important. Everything else can be replaced. They’re gonna be out for a couple of weeks. That’s gonna be the hardest part and their contents,” said Burns.

Hogan complimented the work of Miami Springs workers who cut up and removed dozens of trees. She also thanked the FPL workers who got the lights back on.

“Those guys last night were relentless to get us power back last night,” she said. “Amazing!”

Meanwhile, Leon said she’ll have to figure out a place where she and her family can stay.

“It’s just really unexpected. You don’t plan for things like that. You just figure it out as you go,” said Leon.

The Red Cross said they plan to reach out to Leon to see if there is anything they can co. So far, they have assisted 13 families from apartments totaling 44 people.

The city manager of Miami Springs estimates the damage to the city, including the city park and cleanup throughout the city, to be about half a million dollars.

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