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Dexter Fire Chief: 207 Homes Damaged By Tornado

DEXTER (WWJ/AP)Officials now say 207 homes were damaged in last week's tornado in Dexter and about 20 will need to be demolished.

Dexter Area Fire Chief Loren Yates provided the figures on Monday. Officials initially said Thursday's tornado damaged more than 100 homes and destroyed at least 13. Still, Yates says the numbers could change again as efforts continue to assess the damage inflicted by the storm.

No serious injuries were reported following the tornado, which hit the Washtenaw County community west of Ann Arbor, as well as other parts of the county.

Cleanup and rebuilding continued Monday as classes resumed for students in Dexter Community Schools.

WWJ Newsradio 950's Ron Dewey spoke with Chris Cramer who lost the his house in the tornado. Standing on the front lawn Monday morning you could see all that remained of the upper floor was a closet, with a single shirt hanging from the rack.

Cramer said his home will have to be demolished and rebuilt.  "It's just overwhelming. I mean, we didn't know what to expect ... It's starting to settle in now, what really happened."

Cramer said he can't get over the outpouring of support from the community.

"Oh, it's been unbelievable," he said. "You know, from our church giving gift cards to help ... we have a 2-year-old son, to get him toys, to get food supplies ... toilet paper, all the essentials."

Another man said he came out to his parked car on the street to find an unmarked envelope on the windshield with a $50 bill inside.

Pat Grieve and his family will have to live elsewhere while crews repair a wall compromised by the storm, along with the roof and windows also damaged.

He's also been touched by the community response.

"We have some folks that loaned us a place that they have that they weren't in right now to stay. We're trying to find something more permanent until the house is repaired," Grieve said.

The heavy equipment, dumpsters and work crews will be a regular fixture in the weeks ahead.

How To Help: 

The Salvation Army is collecting donations at  (877) SAL-MICH or

They're also collecting monetary donations at all LaFontaine Automotive Group locations. For more details visit this link.

 (See more photos here).

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