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Man returns to Melody Lane bungalow to find it destroyed by tornado

'It could have been a lot worse,' father of 3-year-old boy says
Posted at 5:25 PM, May 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-01 20:39:55-04

NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. — Along Melody Lane in North Palm Beach, John Riendeau came home Sunday to find what was left of his bungalow after a tornado ravaged it.

"I got a call from my landlord asking if I was home or the dog was home, and he basically said, 'Your house is destroyed,'" Riendeau told WPTV on Monday, two days after the EF2 tornado tore through northern Palm Beach County, toppling trees, stacking cars like pancakes and damaging property in its path.

Michael Williams interviews John Riendeau after tornado destroys his home, May 1, 2023
WPTV's Michael Williams speaks to John Riendeau, whose home on Melody Lane was destroyed by a tornado, May 1, 2023, in North Palm Beach, Fla.

Riendeau, who wasn't home at the time, said he returned the next day and "couldn't believe it."

The father of a 3-year-old son, Riendeau said he "pretty much lost everything" and doesn't have insurance.

debris from John Riendeau's bungalow after being destroyed by tornado, May 1, 2023
Personal items, including his child's toy, can be seen on the ground in the debris after a tornado destroyed his home, May 1, 2023, in North Palm Beach, Fla.

His immediate next-door neighbor was more fortunate. Her home had some minor damage, but she still has a roof over her head.

"Looks good," she said. "Good guardian angels."

Unsure of where he'll live now, Riendeau said he's "lucky" he and his son weren't home when the tornado struck.

"It could have been a lot worse," he said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Riendeau.