Bradley EMA drives through damage - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Bradley EMA drives through damage

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BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- A drive from Bradley County's Emergency Management Agency to some of the more heavily damaged areas of the county just shows how destructive last Wednesday's storms were.

Our drive took us to the county line, where our driver and EMA staff member, Steve Keasler says his childhood home was nearly destroyed.

"This is my mother's home. I helped plant these trees for privacy," says Keasler.

Our travels took us up Wilhour drive, where an entire neighborhood lay ruined from the storm.

Jerry Wasmer drove up from Daytona Beach, Florida to see his parent's home.

He's used to hurricanes, but says the damage left behind from the tornado, is shocking.

"I expected to see some devastation but it is a lot worse. You can't really prepare for it," says Jerry Wasmer.

His family got to safety just minutes before the tornado hit.

"Thank god for their safety. They had been in their room for two minutes and then the house was gone," says Wasmer.

Back at EMA headquarters, many of the operators and instructors have been on call 24 hours, some working with minimal sleep.

Director Troy Spence says as the county continues through the recovery phase, Federal aid is a desperate need.

The only problem, FEMA hasn't arrived yet and we're told all plans are on hold.

"It is frustrating that we have things in place and we are just waiting on approval," says Spence.

Contact FEMA at www.fema.gov for more information.

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