Manzanita 80% to normal 6 months after tornado

"We still have some buildings that need work," city planner said

Damage from a tornado in Manzanita, October 14, 2016. (KOIN)

MANZANITA, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been 6 months since Manzanita was rocked by an EF2 tornado, leaving the city with substantial damages.

The October 14 tornado took a path right along Laneda Avenue, spewing debris and damaging local businesses.

Half a year later, Manzanita residents are still working hard to get things back in order.

A tornado approaches in Manzanita, October 14, 2016 (Julee Ward/Facebook)
A tornado approaches in Manzanita, October 14, 2016. (Julee Ward/Facebook)

“I’d say about 6 months later, we are at about 80%,” city manager Jerry Taylor told KOIN 6 News. “We still have some buildings that need work.”

But they haven’t gone at it alone. Business owner Aprilmarie Eckstrom said the support the city has received from outsiders has made a world of difference.

“As soon as people could, they did come out and support,” Eckstrom said. “That was really helpful because it was a tough season for all of the merchants.”

On a normal weekday, you can find Eckstrom at Toylandia and Manzanita Sweets. But after the tornado, the business owner said they were closed for about 6 weeks.

Cleanup continues in Manzanita following a strike from an EF-2 tornado. (KOIN)

“We had to make sure that we buttoned everything up so we didn’t get any moisture in the building,” she explained. “My biggest concern was if the roof came up, things would be everywhere.”

The road to recovery hasn’t been easy for residents, either.

Cleanup continues in Manzanita following a strike from an EF-2 tornado. (KOIN)

“You had some homes that apparently did not have damage, but then you looked closer and the home had been lifted up and moved over 3 feet and dropped again,” Taylor said.

Thankfully, the city hasn’t experienced those 135 mph winds since. Now that things have settled down and repairs have been made, locals are ready for summer visitors.

“We don’t want people to feel that they can’t come here because they’re going to be coming into a disaster zone,” Taylor said. “Sure you’re going to see some scars as you come into town and around town that were created by the tornado, but the community is still here and ready for people to come take a look.”

The city spent $40,000 to clear the streets after the incident. A total of 128 structurse were damaged in the tornado, and only a few aren’t finished being repaired.