Woman, 82, says Lancaster home remains in shambles 5 years after tornado
- Written by Demond Fernandez Demond Fernandez
- Published: 06 December 2017 06 December 2017
Lancaster, TX - It has been five years since an outbreak of tornadoes hit the Lancaster area. Some survivors are still struggling to rebuild. “It’s been hard,”
Beatrice Stevenson mumbled as she walked into her home.
The door was slightly ajar to let sunlight in. There is no electricity in the place.
On this cold night, Stevenson will, once again, sleep on a chair in her living room. It is a make-shift bed, conveniently placed in front of a space heater that's being powered by using electricity from a generous neighbor’s house.
“I have nothing,” Stevenson cried. “I have nothing. I have nothing.”
The 82-year-old widow says her Lancaster home has been left in shambles. As she picked up a flashlight to walk around the dark house, she pointed out that utilities cannot be connected. There are no interior walls, only wooden frames.
And that's not all.
“No toilet. No water coming out of the hydrant. I have to heat everything from that one line," she said.
She says her troubles all started five years ago, when a tornado blew through the area, damaging her house on April 3, 2012. Stevenson ran to a closet to hide during that storm. The tornado ripped off her roof. It busted the windows and left the floors and walls of the home damaged.
Stevenson says her insurance company cut checks totaling $47,000 for repairs. She used the help of a public adjuster and a local contractor to fix up the house.
But remember, that was five years ago.
“I sat here every day waiting and wondering when were they going to come back and do work," Stevenson explained.
One of the contractors who worked on the house says his crew stopped working when the money for repairs ran out.
Stevenson says tracking down the payouts to several parties has been a challenge over the years. She says lawyers have even walked away from lawsuits against her insurance and mortgage companies.
The homeowner says she feels she's been duped. Stevenson just does not fully know by whom.
“I didn’t want to accept it,” Stevenson cried. “I didn’t want to accept it. Honest to God. I didn’t want to say those words.”