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"Tourists" upset homeowners in tornado-ravaged Sunset Hills

by Mark Schnyder

KMOV.com

Posted on January 4, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 5:57 AM

We got a call from Sally Owenby of Sunset Hills.  Her and her husband's home was damaged by the New Year's Eve tornado but fortunately not destroyed.

It's been an ordeal and she says what's making things worse is the constant presence of people she says have no business on her street.

Sally says only 19 people live on her street, yet dozens of cars have been going up and down it every hour.  We witnessed the almost procession-like scene while standing in her driveway for 45 minutes or so.

Some are people looking to get some business doing repairs.  She's tired of all the fliers, too.  She says they're going in her mailbox and there's hardly any room for the mail.  For that matter she says her mail carrier has trouble getting into her subdivision because of all the traffic.

Sally told me she talked to one family that said they came to show their kids the tornado damage.  She told them, "Here it is.  Now please go watch it on TV."

People were using her driveway as a turnaround until her husband put up an orange cone.  They've put a note on their mailbox and on their garage basically telling roofers and window people "don't call us, we'll call you."

She says going through something like a tornado is overwhelming enough, but outsiders are making it way worse.  Police had her street blocked off at one point so only residents could get in, but that roadblock is gone.

Some of her neighbors have had their sprinkler heads destroyed by cars turning around in their driveways and driving in their grass, too.  The Owenby's put a big rock over their sprinkler head so it doesn't get runover.  They wish they could just get back to focusing solely on getting their house fixed.

Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV.  He can be reached at MSchnyder@kmov.com.

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