Dexter tornado victims lend support through Facebook

Facebook group brings together victims

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

DEXTER, Mich. - When you walk into tornado victim Kathy Crawford's home on Noble Street in Dexter, you're surrounded by emptiness.

There is no furniture, no dry wall and no insulation to keep the chilly March weather from seeping into the home. While the repairs in Crawford's home could take up to five months to complete, the healing process has already begun, thanks to Facebook. 

"It's been my life line for the past week, I don't feel alone, I know I have an army behind me," said Crawford. 

Kathy isn't talking about her own Facebook page, she started up a new one - specifically for people of Dexter who are rebuilding like she is. 

"I just had this idea, I wanted to keep everyone connected because these days we're all living in different in places," Crawford said. "I thought maybe an event, but then it just clicked. So, I started the Facebook page added my children, two of my neighbors and by the end of the day 145 people were in the group." 

The page is called Dexter Tornado – Huron Farms/Orchard River Hills.

Crawford says the point of the page is to keep people connected, to ask for help, offer help and express how they feel. 

"We talk about our kids, our dogs; we ask what color we should paint our front door. The people who are in this Facebook group take it very seriously," said Crawford.

Crawford posted a message on the page just last week, she was nervous about her first day back to work after the tornado hit and she turned to the group for support. 

"I posted how nervous I was about going back to work in downtown Ann Arbor and wanted to know how others felt, that's how I met Katherine," said Crawford. 

Katherine Pfeiffer lives three streets away from Kathy, she also works in downtown Ann Arbor. The two women had never met until the Facebook page brought them together. 

"I posted I work in Ann Arbor, too. I'll check my schedule, let's do lunch and now the rest is history," said Pfeiffer. 

Crawford said she plans on removing the word "tornado" from the title of the Facebook when everyone in the community is moved back in to show they've all moved forward.

Tornado tears through

On March 15, a slow-moving storm was part of a system packing large hail, heavy rain and high winds. The touch down was reported in the Dexter and Pinckney, areas northwest of Ann Arbor.

Based on damage, the tornado had winds estimated around 135 mph, according to the National Weather Service. It was on the ground for about a half hour and had a path about 10miles long.

WATCH: Dexter recovers after twister touchdown

IMAGES: Storm Damage in Dexter

WATCH: Dexter residents thankful to be alive

WATCH: The day Dexter residents will never forget

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