ANDOVER, Kan. (KAKE) – It’s been exactly two weeks since the devastating Andover Tornado left hundreds of people without homes. Now, as insurance claims get sorted out and finalized, the next step might be a waiting game – trying to find a builder.
Andover resident Garrett Owen didn’t know where to start after the tornado flattened his house.
“I couldn’t get to the house. There were trees down everywhere,” said Owen.
But instead of waiting around, he took matters into his own hands, renting a giant excavator and learning how to use it along the way.
“Watching YouTube, and I talked to a couple of people that know how to do it,” said Owen.
He’s now almost completely done cleaning up, but it’s the next step he’s worried about.
“Gonna fill in the hole and then start looking at general contractors to come in and build a house for me. Which I’m not excited about that process either,” said Owen.
Brandon Salisbury with Craig Sharp Homes says things were already crazy busy before the tornado hit
“We actually started this week working with one of the victims of the Andover Tornado, and her insurance agent had told her to kind of expect two years before she was moved back into her house,” said Salisbury.
Salisbury says while he thinks the two-year estimate is a little steep, it will take time for builders to keep up in Andover.
“That’s going to stretch an already stretched marketplace for builders, remodelers, all the subcontractors, really anybody that lays hands on a house. It’s going to stretch them even thinner,” said Salisbury.
While there’s a long road ahead, Owen says all you can do is keep moving forward.
“We’re gonna make it. I mean, I don’t know what else to say. Keep your head up and stay busy,” said Owen.