Monday, May 17, 1999

Out of the storm: One block starts over

Six weeks after the April 9 tornado, The Enquirer takes a look at how residents of one hard hit street, Valleystream Drive in Montgomery, are picking up the pieces and going on with their lives.

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7612 Lakewater
        Resident: The Mittals.
        Rebuild? Undecided. “It's 50-50,” says Meena Mittal.
        Process: “We are not even close to that decision,” she says. They are shopping to replace their damaged automobiles and trying to make the townhouse they are living in as comfortable as possible.
        Progress: “Our first priority was to get to where our son could continue school,” she says of 15-year-old Mayank Mittal, a Sycamore High School sophomore. The family is living a few block east of their home in the Olde Montgomery Apartments.

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11040 Valleystream
        Resident: The Whites.
        Rebuild? “It's 60-40 we'll rebuild on our lot,” Larry White says.
        Process: They have settled with their insurance company. They're waiting to see what their neighbors do. And they're living in a Warren County condominium beside a lake.
        Progress: The in-ground pool, deck and tall white pines are gone. Now the lot is flat and muddy. It's all that's left of the home in which they brought up their four children. “That's the emotional part of all this,” he says.

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11048 Valleystream
        Resident: The Schwartzes.
        Rebuild? Undecided.
        Process: Milton and Barbara Schwartz are grown brought up their five adult children in their five-bedroom, 2,142-square-foot house.
        Progress: The Schwartzes recently told Valleystream Drive neighbors they still haven't made up their minds.

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11033 Valleystream
        Resident: The Wallaces.
        Rebuild? Undecided but leaning toward yes.
        Process: “If we rebuild, the house wouldn't be much smaller,” Carolyn “Tinky” Wallace says. “It will have a first-floor master (bedroom). We're getting too old to run up and down the stairs.”
        Progress: They're concerned about rumors that the Johnson Nature Preserve behind their property is going to be developed as housing.

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11041 Valleystream
        Resident: The Makowskis.
        Rebuild? Yes.
        Process: “It has been painstaking,” says Pat Makowski. “I want to see two pieces of wood nailed together.”
        Progress: They have a $225,000 bid from builder Mike Zicka to build a brick ranch, 70-by-58 feet, with a side-entry garage. Construction will begin in July and take five months.

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11049 Valleystream
        Resident: The Arshonskys.
        Rebuild? No. They bought a house in Symmes Township.
        Process: “We didn't like the new view. We liked the old view with the trees. We'd like to move on,” says Laurie Arshonsky.
        Progress: “We haven't sold the land yet. It's available.”