CLOVERDALE — Where fallen power lines and debris lay just over four
months ago, stacks of lumber are piled neatly along Mahoning Street in
Cloverdale. Although multiple winter snowstorms may have halted the
western Putnam County village’s recovery from the devastation left by a
Nov. 17, 2013 tornado, Monday’s clear skies meant hammers were again on
Just before Christmas, the east side of Cloverdale’s
Railroad Avenue was piled with upwards of 40 feet of insulation,
splintered wood, metal and other pieces of structures that were
demolished by the F-2 tornado as it cut a northeast path through town.
“We hauled out 220 loads,” said Cloverdale Mayor Judd Spencer. “The
county garage hauled all that out of here. Then here came the snow and
we had to quit and put the plows on the trucks. We have 30 to 40 more
loads that we’ll get this spring.”
Recent fair weather has allowed
more rebuilding activity in the village. Spencer reported seeing
several loads of lumber being delivered. “That’s a very positive sign
that we’re able to get back with it. But the snows melting and all the
ugly’s coming out again,” he grinned. “But we are moving forward.”
Monday, several contractors were at work, including a crew that moved
in and out of a home on the corner of Railroad and Mahoning. The c. 1940
home’s interior was gutted following the storm because the force of the
wind twisted the walls. “They just stripped all these walls and squared
it up,” said Spencer. His father in law, Larry Sroufe, is the owner.
with residential reconstruction, the community will see the restoration
of St. Barbara’s Catholic Church. According to Spencer, the Catholic
Diocese of Toledo has given the parish its blessing to rebuild the
church’s sanctuary. That building was demolished by the storm, as was
much of the rectory next door to the north. The parish hall still
stands. The parish has contracted with an architectural design firm to
begin the design and planning stage of the new church.
“That is a big hunk of glue that holds us together,” said Spencer.
fundraisers are on the calendar to increase recovery momentum. The
Ottoville Mothers Club, in conjunction with the Cloverdale Recovery Task
Force will hold a picnic box-style chicken dinner, 5K run walk,
children’s fun run, silent auction, bake sale and 50/50 drawing on April
5 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Spencer reported that Lock Sixteen, the
caterer for the dinner, has printed 2,000 tickets which are now
available for purchase for $7.50 each at Express Mart, Fort Jennings
State Bank, Main Street Market and the Ottoville State Bank Co. All four
businesses are in Ottoville. Race information may be found at
www.cloverdaletornado5k.com/events.html and on Facebook.
donated funds are dispersed to support the town’s recovery efforts
through the United Way, said Spencer. “We continually receive donations
from businesses and service clubs. That continues to flow.
residents welcome the support. As this winter winds down, they put it
to good use. “One thing about this winter is it gave us plenty of time
to think it through, to make a game plan,” smiled Spencer.
the weather does break, it’s going to be like ants crawling through this
village,” he laughed. “Everybody’s got cabin fever and they want to get
out and do something. And there’s plenty to do!”