'We're lucky to be alive': Cleanup continues following Mullica Hill, NJ tornado

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Thursday, September 9, 2021
'We're lucky to be alive': Cleanup continues following NJ tornado
Residents on Salvatore Drive in Mullica Hill, New Jersey are still cleaning up more than one week after an EF-3 tornado devastated their neighborhood.

MULLICA HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- It has been an emotional and exhausting week for Gloucester County communities impacted by last week's tornado, and the work is far from over.

Folks on Salvatore Drive in Mullica Hill are still cleaning up more than one week after an EF-3 tornado devastated their neighborhood.

"I'm cleaning through stuff. I'm getting rid of stuff. I'm salvaging what I can," said Stacey DeSantis-Nate.

She said she and her family are traumatized, even though she knows it could've been much worse.

RELATED: Damage cleanup continues after EF-3 tornado strikes Gloucester County

"If this development, if this would've happened at 10 p.m. and everyone was sleeping, there probably would've been about 40 or 50 casualties. Everybody had notice and we were able to get to the basement and we were able to survive," DeSantis-Nate said through tears.

Amazingly no fatalities were reported in Gloucester County, but hundreds of homes and buildings were damaged or destroyed.

Eric and Kyle Griffin took videos of the EF-3 tornado as it swept through their farm, Round Tree Farm and Greenhouse off of Clems Run.

"It went through the back of the farm, did minor damage compared to our neighbors over here that got devastated," said Eric Griffin.

They've been over at Salvatore Drive helping his neighbors move large debris with his equipment.

RELATED: Multiple homes destroyed after powerful EF-3 tornado hits Mullica Hill

Some homes were utterly destroyed, some were badly damaged, while others were barely touched by a tornado that hit Mullica Hill, New Jersey

"We're just helping people get stuff to the street since we have equipment that can make life a little easier," said Griffin.

Many residents are staying in hotels and trying to come up with a plan, coordinating with adjusters, insurance companies and contractors.

"We had a demo crew here yesterday looking at things," said Trish Donohue. "They're telling us the garage moved off its foundation at least an inch and a half. They cut into the master bedroom with the roof damage. They're measuring that because they think the whole house shifted. And if that is the case then it's probably going to have to be a teardown and rebuild."

On Friday at the Gloucester County Library in Mullica Hill, an expanded recovery center will open with FEMA representatives along with local and county resources.

"Finding out where to go and a place to live and whatever temporary housing, they'll help you with it there. Anything dealing with FEMA is here," said Gloucester County Commissioner Robert Damminger.

Anyone with information on possible price gouging or other disaster-related fraud can file an online complaint by visiting New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs or calling (973) 504-6240.

Consumers leaving a message should include their name, contact information, nature of the complaint, and the name and address of the individual or business they wish to report.