Alabama Hwy in Ringgold slowly coming back to life - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Alabama Hwy in Ringgold slowly coming back to life

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RINGGOLD, CATOOSA COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) -- Slow and steady, Ringgold is bringing its business district back to life on Alabama Highway.

Stores are opening, and gas is available. It's a taste of what life used to be like, and where they're headed.

Volunteer Lamar Pepper from Gainesville, Georgia knows it's a long way from what it used to be, but he says it's a good feeling,"especially for locals, that means things are getting back to normal."

Pepper knows two weeks ago, normal was not a word anyone would use to describe Ringgold.

But on Friday afternoon, there was a number of signs on Alabama Highway that hint things are slowly returning to normal.

Local landmark Aunt Effie's was able to open after two weeks owner Jim Cox is calling it a miracle.

Cox said, "we've been here for a long time, we've been feeding these folks a long time, there's no doubt they missed us, and they did, they're happy we're back open."

There wasn't an empty seat in his restaurant on Friday for lunch.

Right next door another sign of life. Kangaroo Express was absolutely demolished. Less than three weeks later, the ruble is gone, they're pumping gas, and selling merchandise.

Down the road, fast food chains, and corporations a like are beginning the same process.

Cox says to not rebuild on Alabama Highway would be a bad business move.

"I would say they'd rebuild, I don't know why they wouldn't, it's a dynamite spot, great traffic flow," said Cox."

The volunteers we talked to from Gainesville have lived through tornadoes before, they say it may take a few years, but Ringgold will be the same again.

The locals feel the same way.

"It's a tough community, everyone's coming together out here," said Ringgold resident Corby Searcy.

Cox added, "the way everybody has pulled together, to get back in business. We'll do what we gotta do, we'll do what we gotta do to rebuild, we'll do what we gotta do."

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