With no warning, in just 30 seconds, Tom Weindorf said his property was one of many left in ruins after a tornado rips through the area.
“My one grandson was just a few feet away from where the tree came through the roof of the house,” said Weindorf.
The Weindorf, a veteran, said the real shock came when he walked outside, seeing what remained of his land.
“These trees that are down in our back yard, I planted all of those about 45 years ago,” Weindorf.
But Weindorf isn’t tackling this battle alone.
A veteran-led disaster response group Team Rubicon is cleaning up properties across the Erie and Millcreek area.
Sunday, volunteers lent a hand to one of their own.
“We get taught things in the military about mission and service and don’t realize until you get out what that means to you,” said Ken Holby, a Team Rubicon volunteer.
Holby lives several hours away, but he told us his roots are here in Northwest Pennsylvania.
“The opportunity to help out the local community is just amazing and to give back you know what I still think Erie gave to me growing up and what they made me today,” said Holby.
One property at a time, home owners recover from the storm’s devastation.
The project is not only paying off for the community, but the volunteers also.
“When you leave the military, you lose your sense of mission. You lose your sense of purpose or your sense of belonging and coming back here with Team Rubicon, we have this mission. We have this mission. We have a purpose. We have a belonging here,” said Chris Wells, an operation session chief.