"The hurricane on the coast and the hurricane on the coast have set us back on a federal level," he said. State and federal resources, including MEMA and FEMA, were forced to refocus their efforts on the immediate needs of the communities affected by those hurricanes. Kennedy said he understood the necessity and is anxious to see the recovery move ahead. He said some projects are well underway.
"The school is about a month ahead of schedule."
Kennedy said residents in the town of one-thousand are looking for things to get back to the way they were. That includes building a police station, homes, stores and "anything we can do to bring normalcy back to our citizens like it was before the tornado."
He said one of the main components people are missing is a grocery store.
"That's one of the things that we took for granted. We didn't know what a good grocery store we had until it was taken from us." He said the town is working with some companies to try to bring one into the recovery effort.
Kennedy did not elaborate on how much or how little the population may have been reduced, or how many may have left after the storm.
He said there have been some lessons.
"Once you lose everything, you automatically have a greater appreciation for what you have," he said. "A few weeks after the tornado, the birds started chirping again. But, for a while we didn't hear a bird chirp in the town. That's when you realize how fragile life is."
Breezynews report I did when the Smithville tornado happened (courtesy Breezynews.com):