FOX 17 Reporter
5:27 PM EDT, May 28, 2012
BATTLE CREEK, Mich.
It's been one year since a strong wind-storm blew through Calhoun County causing a large amount of damage throughout the city.
It was so bad, the Governor actually declared a state of emergency in Battle Creek.
"It was scary, came up really fast,” resident Melissa Mendez said. “And I ran to the basement came back up and everything was everywhere."
Melissa Mendez recalls the uprooted trees, badly damaged homes and cars. Within minutes it became the norm along a stretch of 28th street.
The winds, which reached 100 miles an hour, even ripped through a burger king not far away. Neighbors quickly pulled together to clean up the debris.
Battle Creek emergency crews followed suit, assessing the damage from the air. "Since it's such widespread damage, right now, it's a big undertaking. It's gonna take a couple days, three, four days of hard work,”
Looking back on the damage, emergency management director Lieutenant Mike McKenzie tells FOX 17 the work became overwhelming.
A total of 17 agencies responded to help. The Red Cross gave out 3,000 meals, and 10 families were put up in shelters.
Some had completely lost their homes or garages; thousands of others lost power for days. But one year later, it's definitely a change of scenery.
"A lot of houses look a lot nicer, new siding, roofs. Neighborhood looks a lot better now,” resident Nick Brown said.
While a lot of the homes have already been restored, there's still one property that sits abandoned and was condemned by the city.
However overall, neighbors say they're happy with the way things are coming along. "[There are] a lot less trees. A lot less trees, you can see everybody down the street, pretty much now and there's nothing blocking anything anymore," Mendez explained.
Neighbors hope that progress continues for the condemned property, and they urge city officials to clean up one of the last visual reminders of that storm.
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