Hamilton county residents still cleaning up after storms - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hamilton county residents still cleaning up after storms

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - No matter which direction you look from Mary Anne Bowman's house on Kellys Ferry Road in Tiftonia you'll see harsh reminders of last week's tornado.

She was already at work in Trenton, Georgia that morning when the tornado hit there around 8:30. Bowman knew it would soon make a bee-line for her neighborhood where her two sons were starting their day.

"They had been down at O'Dell's, which is a little local grocery store, getting breakfast. Getting ready to go do some work. And they just watched it destroy the whole valley," said Bowman.

It's a morning her son Jason Moore won't soon forget.

"The wind and rain just started coming down real heavy, but as it was coming down it was shooting straight back up," explained Moore.

Signs of strong updrafts in a severe storm soon got worse.

"Then the leaves and stuff started spinning and the roof across the street started peeling off and the fruit stand in front of us just disappeared in seconds," recalled Moore.

As far as Bowman's home, and her 91-year-old grandmother's home next door, most of the damage consists of blown out windows and peeled roofs. Three of the columns in front of Bowman's house had to be reset, and a trampoline pole was embedded in the roof and a wall of her grandmother's house. Thankfully, she wasn't home either.

"I'm actually grateful, because I just don't think she could have withstood it," said Bowman.

Until their power is restored, the family has found a temporary place to live.

Also, the picture to the left ended up in their debris, but Bowman has no idea where it came from and neither does anyone else in the neighborhood. It was taken in August, 1999, and according to the writing on the back it was shot in Panama City Beach. The names written are Carissa, Mother, and Brandy.

Despite all the initial chaos and the mess that's now being cleaned up, Bowman says the strength of the community helps everyone get through it.

"It's a close-knit community and a lot of the residents out here homesteaded here and raised families together here," said Bowman.

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