After Naperville Tornado
Six months after the EF-3 tornado that struck Naperville, some residents are still dealing with the aftermath. The City of Naperville hosted a tornado needs assessment open house to figure out what unmet needs still exist.
“The biggest thing that we found as we’re driving through this neighborhood, especially me because I live near here, is the lack of progress,” said Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico. “And it’s frustrating. And I know if it’s frustrating for me, its got to be really frustrating for these homeowners. So we need to find out why. Why is it taking so long?”
The city is hoping to get those answers from its residents. “We could assist in things that are outside of the scope of the city responsibilities,” said Chirico. “So in this case here the number one thing was insurance, trying to deal with negotiating insurance settlements.”
Six Months After Tornado
Naperville resident Elizabeth Nuesser had to pay $17,000 out of pocket for her roof, as she’s been going back and forth with her insurance company. Her roofer told her she had to get it fixed before the first snowfall. She’s now trying to get the company to cover the expense.
“We were State Farm customers for 25 years. We never put in a home claim, we have multiple properties, automobile,” said Nuesser. “The thousands of dollars we put in premiums, you think the one time that you need to use it that they would be there for us and they’re not.” She has now hired an attorney to go to arbitration.
Homeowners James and Donna Hayostek were able to replace their roof after a back and forth with State Farm, but are now trying to fix another problem. “Some of the projectile has actually penetrated the dry wall in our house and so it’s got the cracks all over the walls and outside of the house,” said James. “State Farm sends in a structural engineer at my request. The structural engineer said, ‘those aren’t’ caused by the tornado. Those were wear and tear.’”
Taking a Toll
While the city is still trying to gather information to see what issues persist, some other common concerns they heard include difficulty finding a contractor because they’re busy and supply chain issues. No matter the issue, these challenges are taking a toll on some residents six months later.
“Everyone has suffered that has gone through a tornado. It is upsetting. It is overwhelming,” said Donna. “They’re distressed, it is costly emotionally and physically.” Impacted residents who couldn’t attend the open house in-person can fill out the survey online by January 12, 2022.
Reporting for Naperville News 17, I’m Aysha Ashley Househ.
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