Kentwood/Wyoming tornado ‘will be history’

John de Longpre's roof was damaged in the tornado that swept through Kentwood and Wyoming. (July 15, 2014)

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — In the aftermath of the storm and tornado that caused millions of dollars in damage to private property, Kentwood and Wyoming residents are looking forward.

On the night of July 6, the EF-1 tornado cut a six-mile swath of damage through the southern metro Grand Rapids area. Residents have been cleaning up ever since — and there’s still a long way to go.

A group contracted through John de Longpre’s insurance company — Guarantee System Disaster and Storm Repairs — removed the tree that fell on his roof and put a tarp to keep out the rain.

Now all there is to do is wait.

“I didn’t hear anything directly from the insurance company, except they left me a voicemail with a claim number,” de Longpre said.

De Longpre said he hopes to hear back from the insurance company within the month. He said the tarp will do for now, but hopes to get the damage fixed before August.

He’s willing to be patient, he said, “because other people have it worse than we do.”

“Look at the garage,” he said, gesturing to his neighbor’s property. “It’s gone.”

Also gone are the trees that once towered over Wyoming’s Ideal Park. In their place are broken logs and stripped bark.

“It’s really unbelievable,” artist Annette Gray said. “It will be history.”

But among the destruction, she still sees beauty. She took photos Tuesday that she plans to frame with torn bark. She said she plans to enter the photos in ArtPrize 2015.

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