‘Everything disappeared around us in a blink’: Family figuring out what’s next following tornado in Kathleen

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s been almost two weeks since Linda Wright and her husband lost everything after an EF-2 tornado ripped through their Kathleen home in late October. 

“I screamed ‘we got to get out’ and by then it was too late. Everything disappeared around us in a blink,” said Wright.  

Wright, her husband and their two dogs just narrowly escaped the destruction. 

“I feel like God brought us through this because there is no way we could have made it out of there. I look back on it now and I don’t even know how we did it,” said Wright.  

Wright, who lived in the home for the last 40 years, just completed renovations following Hurricane Irma. She tells 8 On Your Side, she did not have homeowners insurance at the time of the Oct. 18 tornado and is forced to start over.  

“I try not to think about it. There is nothing I can do about it now.”  

The Polk County community came together following the tornado and removed debris and what remained of the Wrights’ mangled home.  

“Our community, our neighbors, our friends, the people I work with, I have had two communities, Plant City and Polk County, they have been amazing,” said Wright.  

 Now the Wrights are faced with the harsh reality of being homeless.  

A fundraiser on Facebook has been created for the family. So far, over 200 people have donated in the last 13 days but when it comes to picking up the pieces, Wright says more is still needed to make them whole.   

“It’s gonna be a lot of work but we will do it,” said Wright.

The Wright family is also searching for a contractor who can rebuild their home on their existing lot. To get in touch with Lind Wright, please email her directly at Lindak17@ymail.com.

For more details on how you donate to the Wright family, visit their Facebook page here.

Kathleen Middle School is also still accepting donations after the tornado. Those wishing to send checks or money orders can mail them to the Polk Education Foundation: 1530 Shumate Drive, Bartow, FL 33830.

Donations can also be made online at https://polkschoolsfl.com/pef/donate/.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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