He lost his home in Hurricane Katrina. Now he's lost his house in Mt. Juliet, too.

Posted at 4:57 PM, Dec 14, 2021

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — Mt. Juliet's Warren Bondi is no stranger to losing his house.

Bondi is from a small town outside of New Orleans called Chalmette. He and his family evacuated his home when he was just a child to escape Hurricane Katrina.

"We had about 12 feet of water in our house, and we lost everything that was sentimental at that point," said Bondi.

When the family returned, mud covered their floor two feet deep. They tried to push it out the front door to see what could be salvaged. Bondi noticed a similarity between that disaster and the EF1 tornado which blew out the side of his Mt. Juliet home.

"When I was younger we had a lot of people driving by and it got to the point where there were tours," said Bondi. "There were tour buses driving by. Back then, I got so angry as a kid and I really couldn't mess with people about it. When we started seeing the same thing here, I was like I'm going to mess with people about it."

Bondi put out a sign displayed prominently on his mailbox that reads "If you are just looking - donations accepted! Cash only. Tornadoes Suck!"

He said he noticed cars driving by of people who don't live in the neighborhood. This time, it didn't really bother him because they weren't tour buses, but he saw his chance to bring some levity to the situation.

"(I) kinda did it as a joke. We don't expect anything from anybody and I definitely don't want to imply that. So far, this mailbox is empty," he said. "Maybe somebody will laugh a little and appreciate it."

Dozens of homes were damaged in Bondi's neighborhood. The tornado tore into the side of homes and damaged roofs and chimneys.

He received some good news from insurance Tuesday.

"So far, they want to let us knock it down and rebuild from scratch. I feel comfortable about that. I'm a little shell-shocked about that in terms of tornadoes," said Bondi.

With a pregnant wife and two kids, Bondi's just glad everyone is safe.