Andover, Sedgwick County residents displaced by tornado cope with stress from trauma, focus on recovery

Moving forward, it’s important to remember that some lost nearly everything: their homes, their safe spots and most of their possessions.
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 7:43 PM CDT
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ANDOVER, Kan. (KWCH) - In Andover, talking with people impacted by last Friday’s EF-3 tornado, some expressed disbelief that it’s only been a week and that time is moving slowly. Moving forward, it’s important to remember that some lost nearly everything, their homes and most of their possessions. It’s going to take months if not longer to recover.

Jacob and Kassidy Brittain are among the Andover residents who lost their home to the tornado. The couple made it down into their basement moments before their home was ripped apart.

“The second we shut our door, we just heard it demolish our house above us,” Brittain said.

As Brittain looked over the devastation a week later, she was reminded of the good, as well. The Brittains still have each other and everyone can continue to move forward.

“Every day, we’ve just been taking it one step at a time. It’s been hard because nobody has known what to do because it’s been a long time since Kansas has been through this,” Brittain said. “So, just trying to navigate where we go from here. We’ve had so many volunteers, people we don’t even know, just walking up our driveway saying ‘tell us what to do.’”

For now, Brittain isn’t sure if they will rebuild in Andover as the devastation is too much.

“Being a victim of now a tornado is really impacting me mentally,” she said. “So, any time there’s rain or thunder, I’ve been in my mom’s basement and I just can’t handle it, and I turn something on really loud to distract myself. But I’m hoping that with time and maybe some potential counseling, I can work through it and not be terrified of thunderstorms for the rest of my life. But it’s been hard.”

There are resources to help people like the Brittains, especially through the United Way of the Plains, set up at the Andover Community Center to coordinate volunteer and donation efforts.

If you’d like to help the Kassidy Brittain and her family, you can contribute to a GoFundMe page set up for them.

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