New year, new home

Michelle Trapp described July 10, the day a storm ripped the roof off her family’s home, as a nightmare.

The house was considered a loss, and Friday, nearly six months after the storm, a crew installed a new home for her and her husband, George, on the same property at 262 Eighth Ave. She said having the house arrive was a dream.

“It’s tough living away from home. … We are finally coming to the end of it,” she said.

The couple had lived in the two-story house, which lost its roof and suffered rafter damage in the storm, for 10 years. It was built in 1875, according to Seneca County Auditor’s Office.

The day of the storm, Trapp said her son heard a boom, the electricity went off and there was a flash. The neighbors called the police when the roof blew off, she said. Police took her son out of the basement.

Trapp was at work in Fremont during the storm.

“You just don’t know when you get that call, you just don’t know, and it turns your whole life upside down. … I haven’t been home since July 10,” she said.

Trapp said the house was twisted off its foundation, and her daughter lost everything in her bedroom because the ceiling collapsed in it.

She said contractors said the house was not fixable, but her insurance company thought it was. Then, the land was deemed non-buildable due to codes, and there were issues with the property’s septic system.

Trapp and her husband explained the situation to Clinton Township trustees, and a meeting with various officials followed on the house’s broken front porch.

“They decided that they should be able to tie me into the city (sewer),” she said.

Trapp said it had been a long struggle and expressed appreciation for township, city and county officials and the historical brick layer with whom she worked.

“A lot of people really put forth for us,” she said.

Trapp said her neighbors have been “awesome.” She said they never complained about the eyesore that remained on the property for so long.

“Neighbors were calling (when people tried to loot). Neighbors were shooing people off,” she said.

After the storm, the Trapps spent a week at a campground, spent several weeks in a hotel and most recently have been living in an apartment. The family also has been shopping for contents for the home.

Trapp said she tried hard to keep the money in Tiffin, and she purchased all of the replacement items within the city.

“I will finish shopping in Tiffin,” she said.

Trapp said the house was ordered on her birthday and was delivered the day after Christmas. Friday, two days after New Year’s Day, a crane hoisted the modular home’s pieces into place.

“What a way to start our year,” she said.