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'A little bit better each day': Linwood residents continue cleanup one week after tornado

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jun 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-04 19:46:19-04

LINWOOD, Kan. — Driving into Linwood, Kansas, on Tuesday, piles of debris could be seen along the side of the road, left there for crews to remove as the cleanup continues one week after an EF-4 tornado tore through the small town.

"We’re all just lucky to be alive," said Dina Duffin, who lost her home in the storm.

Duffin and her neighbors are still sifting through piles of debris one week later.

"It’s hard to decide what to throw out and what to keep, especially when you have a small container trying to fit everything that’s still good," Duffin said.

While the insulation from her family's house of 13 years destroyed clothing and other belongings, they are staying focused on salvaging the items with sentimental value.

"We were able to preserve a lot of pictures,” Duffin said. “Some of them were wet. We were trying to take them apart and let them sit out.”

Meanwhile, Leavenworth County, with assistance from surrounding communities, is continuing to work on removing construction and demolition materials scattered across town.

"It’s Kansans helping Kansans, or neighbors helping neighbors, and we really appreciate everything that they’ve done," Leavenworth County Emergency Management Director Chuck Magaha said.

According to Magaha, 10 task force teams have taken almost 28,000 cubic yards of debris to the county's quarry in Tonganoxie.

"It's come a long way," Magaha said.

While the county is grateful for the community's generosity, officials are not asking for any more donations because they've run out of space.

The county also wants to reiterate that people who don't have any business in Linwood should stay away because there are still potential hazards in the area.

"For right now, it’s almost like it gets a little bit better each day, just because more and more is cleaned up,” Duffin said.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the Duffin family. For more information, click here.