Devastation in Dexter: 1 year later

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

DEXTER, Mich. - Perhaps the most striking image in the aftermath of the EF-3 tornado that ripped through this community one year ago today isn't that of a smashed house, an overturned car or even the teams of community members defiantly rebuilding their community.

The most striking image a year later may be that of 9-year-old Jack Potsos sound asleep and safe in his own bed, holding on tightly to a teddy bear brought to him by his family's insurance company.

Jack, his babysitter and his dog rode out the tornado in the family's basement in the hard hit Huron Farm subdivision.

"We heard loud booms upstairs. My dog was more scared that I was." Jack bravely accounts a year later.

Parents are still talking to their children a year later.

Their kids lived through such a scary, long storm and then lived through the confusion and so much destruction all around them, and some mothers and fathers get nervous when the skies turn black and a storm is approaching.

"You think, could it happen again?" asks Jack's father, Pete Potsos.

Postos says the important thing is that he talks about the storm and being scared with his son.  Potsos says an important therapy for his son and the other children in Dexter was making fun arts and crafts with the debris the tornado left behind.

380 homes in this areas were damaged by the 140 miles per hour tornado. 

Some homes were destroyed, others suffered massive roof damage.

Other homes had two x fours shooting out of the roof tops, fired like javelins by the tornado.

The town is still amazed and thankful that not one person was hurt.

"The other part of the story a year later is how this community came together." Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton tells Local 4 News.

Village president Shawn Keough says this one year anniversary will be marked by a number of special occasions that the community is calling "One Year Stronger."

Headlining the day will be a tornado drill at the local middle school attended by state and local emergency management officials.

Sheriff Clayton and Mr. Keough say Dexter and the surrounding Dexter Township are more safe one year later.

16 new tornado sirens are in place with more on the way for other parts of the county.

Stay with Local 4 News for continuing live coverage of the year anniversary of the Dexter tornado. 

We'll be live this evening at an important community event designed to still help families that may need assistance a year after this unforgettable storm.

--Photos provided by Potsos family

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