Shawnee Family Displaced By 2013 Tornado Receives New Home - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Shawnee Family Displaced By 2013 Tornado Receives New Home

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A Shawnee family devastated by a tornado two years ago is getting a fresh start. A Shawnee family devastated by a tornado two years ago is getting a fresh start.
SHAWNEE, Oklahoma -

A Shawnee family devastated by a tornado two years ago is getting a fresh start. Their home was destroyed and they have been living in limbo ever since.

That changed Friday when they got the keys to their brand new home, courtesy of the American Red Cross of Oklahoma and Rebuilding Together OKC.

“Oh, it's fabulous, you can't - there are no words to describe it,” said Bob Apala. “You can't ask for anything any better,” he added.

Bob and Nee Apala were overjoyed at the home dedication ceremony. It has been a long journey since a tornado on May 19th, 2013, destroyed their trailer home.

“Something that you really don't want to experience,” Apala told News 9. “Really emotional,” he added.

Apala is a disabled Air Force veteran and has worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Shawnee for 20 years. The 68-year-old is excited to make this a retirement home with Nee. They were chosen to receive the $115,000 home through a partnership with the Red Cross and Rebuilding Together OKC.

“It's really great,” Apala added.

Rebuilding Together OKC committed to building 12 new homes for tornado victims all around the metro.

“We've been spread out from the Moore area to Midwest City to two here in Shawnee and then back to El Reno, so it was pretty widespread devastation,” said Claude Drabek with Rebuilding Together OKC.

The Apala's house is the fourth home that has been finished.

“Oh it's a great feeling, I think I was more happy than they were and they were real happy, don't get me wrong, but it's fun to give back,” Drabek added.

The Apala's will start moving furniture in soon and hope to stay in the house for the first time next week.

Help is still available for storm victims from the 2013 tornadoes for various things like repairs, mold issues, relocation costs and more. Call the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project at 866-477-7276.

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