There's Still More To Do One Year After East Greensboro Tornado

Apr 15, 2019

The grey skies showed that something was coming April 15, 2018. Then, without much warning for the residents of east Greensboro, an EF-2 tornado touched down.

The tornado ripped through neighborhoods, tearing roofs of homes, downing trees and power lines. In the end, it left one person dead after a tree fell on his car.

One year later, the area has seen a lot of demolishing and repairing of buildings.

"We've had some reputable investors come in and purchase land with the intent of building up affordable housing," Greensboro Housing Coalition project manager, Josie Williams said. "I know that's still a work in progress and there's still a lot to be done but at least we're on a good trajectory.

As a result of the tornado, Greensboro created the Storm Recovery Alliance to coordinate the community's response to the tornado. It's a coalition of local agencies.

According to the city, 174 households needed relocation after the storm. One of the goals of the alliance is to build a better east Greensboro.

"We want to help it stay homeownership and help that neighborhood stay strong," said Stan Wilson, Greensboro neighborhood development director. "So we want to make sure when we focus our efforts that we're really helping make the neighborhood stronger."

More than $800,000 has been given to tornado recovery in Greensboro.

Organizations like Community Housing Solutions, East Greensboro NOW, and Habitat for Humanity have helped residents repair their homes.

Williams wants the repairs to maintain much needed affordable housing in the city and she also wants more developers and investors to be fearless.

"We need people with a particular type vision," she said. "We need people to understand they may have to take more personal risks and invest more personally into a neighborhood like this to see a change."