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Recovering & Rebuilding: $450k to New Orleans East tornado victims six months later

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NEW ORLEANS -- More than six months after the New Orleans East tornado, many homeowners are still reeling, but Entergy announced plans to give United Way of Southeast Louisiana $450,000 for recovery efforts.

They held their press conference on Read Boulevard and Chef Highway, on the foundation of the Sourihna Dorsey's old home that was destroyed during the tornado in February. The Dorseys clearly remember that day.

"I heard the trees snapping, I heard the sirens sound. And I threw three of my little chihuahuas into the tub. I grabbed on to the toilet while all the roof was peeling off from above me," said Sourihna Dorsey.

"Yeah and she had time to give me a call. But the call I got was, 'Joe, joe! I think a tornado's coming, a tornado's coming! Omg, the roof is being torn off the house and the phone hung up. So I thought she got sucked out the house, so I raced here from work. And I found her here crying saying it's gone," said Joseph Dorsey, Sourihna's husband.

Almost 900 homes were damaged by the February tornado, causing about $18 million in damage. Six months later, the Dorseys are still living in temporary housing.

But after lots of headaches and waiting, the rebuilding process has begun on their home, thanks to United Way.

The organization is teaming up with SBP and Entergy, hoping to help other affected families by launching their New Orleans East Tornado Recovery Plan Thursday, helping homeowners with rebuilding, FEMA, insurance, temporary housing and more.

"Many of these homeowners also lost their homes in Katrina. Many of our employees lost homes in Katrina, and when you have been in that place, it's something that touches you and you know what it feels like and that's why we know it's so important to get these families back at home as quickly as possible," said Patty Riddlebarger of Entergy.

"You know when you were a kid, and the next day is Christmas and you're so excited, you can't sleep. That's how I feel, yeah. But actually seeing it, it's like a reality -- this is really happening. I am stoked. I am just thankful. I am at a loss for words," said Joe Dorsey.

Volunteers hope to frame the home in one day's time. Click here if you are affected by February's tornado and need help.

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