- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

UTICA, Neb. (AP) - An eastern Nebraska family of 11 has found a new home after a tornado destroyed their old one two weeks ago.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports (https://bit.ly/1w7wVm9 ) that Mitch and Betty Nisly’s bank approved the family for a home loan last week. Their new home is in Utica, about 12 miles north of Beaver Crossing, which was struck by a tornado on May 11.

The storm crushed the family’s 12-passenger van. Authorities say 17 tornadoes were reported in Nebraska that day. Beaver Crossing was hardest-hit, with 16 houses damaged.

Since the tornado, the family had been living in a three-bedroom house owned by the Utica United Methodist Church, and sleeping on air mattresses.

“I’m going to be honest with you. The tension was high in there,” Mitch Nisly said. “When you’ve got five teenage girls, yeah, you better believe the tension is high.”

Betty Nisly - the matriarch of a family grown one adoption and foster child at a time - chose the rooms. When dealing with nine children, five of them teenagers, room assignments are a tactical practicality. The four older girls will share the basement, which has two bedrooms and room for a couple more. Everyone else will be on the main level.

The past couple of weeks have been filled with meetings with insurance and real estate agents.

But Mitch doesn’t complain. He is grateful for the generosity of friends and strangers, and his family made it through the tornado and they all have a roof over their heads. The family received donations of clothes, blankets, furniture and gift certificates.

Because their original house was leveled, he doesn’t have to squabble with the insurance company over repairs. And having all their belongings blown away was one way to de-clutter, he said.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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