Clearing away doesn't necessarily buy a clean start - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

After the Storm: clearing away doesn't necessarily buy a clean start

Posted: Updated:

CLEVELAND, BRADLEY, COUNTY (WRCB) -- Were Friday your first look at Archer Lane in Cleveland, you'd wonder how it could have been any worse the night the tornado hit, three weeks and two days ago.

Mark Suazo knows better.

"The first two nights after it happened, I stayed here in a chair every 20 minutes," says Suazo. "I had to run off looters or other people in the neighborhood who didn't belong here."

This day?

"They've made tremendous progress!," says Suazo.

"They" are the private cleanup crews with IED out of Alabama, clearing away trees, brush, and the debris that falls into the 'catchall' category known as C & D: construction and demolition material.

A dump truck can hold 43 cubic yards, roughly 11-and-one-half tons of 'whatever." But on Archer Lane, it fills so quickly that a crew is likely to make 18 trips to Bradley County's landfill in a 12-hour shift.

Mark Suazo is about to give up counting.

And accounting for his own losses.

"You've got one side of the government giving you money, and another trying to take everything you've got," says Suazo.

His homeowner's insurance has settled; roughly $54,000

He's filed for help with FEMA too.

But he's been under- or unemployed since June, when he was part of a massive layoff at the carpet mills in nearby Dalton, GA.

He'd been commuting to Kentucky, to work in a coal mine near Middlesboro. He no longer can afford the gasoline, or to rent the apartment he called home while there.

"I try not to think about it," says Suazo.

Midway through filing for bankruptcy, the tornado may give his creditors most all that they hadn't taken, or would have.

As he looks at the shell that was his home, roofless, windowless, missing two of its outer walls,

he busies himself by packing a box with CDs and DVD's.

"I'm going through, and getting a last look at my memories," says Suazo. "And just kind of letting go, as I go."

  • NewsMore>>

  • Jonestown survivor speaks to Chattanoogans about that fateful day

    Jonestown survivor speaks to Chattanoogans about that fateful day

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:40 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:40:13 GMT
    In November 1978, the world watched in horror members of a cult called "The People's Temple", committed mass suicide at Jonestown, Guyana.  A woman who escaped death, only because she was away from Jonestown on that fateful day, spoke at UTC and the Chattanooga Public Library, Wednesday night.More
    In November 1978, the world watched in horror members of a cult called "The People's Temple", committed mass suicide at Jonestown, Guyana.  A woman who escaped death, only because she was away from Jonestown on that fateful day, spoke at UTC and the Chattanooga Public Library, Wednesday night.
    More
  • 2 House Dems pressing inquiry into Tenn. VW vote

    2 House Dems pressing inquiry into Tenn. VW vote

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:39 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:39:59 GMT
    Democrats in Congress have opened an investigation into the union vote at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga. Democratic Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.), senior Democrat on the House Education and theMore
    Democrats in Congress have opened an investigation into the union vote at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga.More
  • Friends and classmates hold memorial for "Big Ron"

    Friends and classmates hold memorial for "Big Ron"

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:22:03 GMT
    Students and faculty members are still grieving the loss of Ron Farrell after he was found unresponsive in his dorm apartment on Friday. It was standing room only in the Benwood Auditorium at UTC Wednesday night as students celebrated his life and they all tell Channel 3 he won't easily be forgotten.More
    Students and faculty members are still grieving the loss of Ron Farrell after he was found unresponsive in his dorm apartment on Friday. It was standing room only in the Benwood Auditorium at UTC Wednesday night as students celebrated his life and they all tell Channel 3 he won't easily be forgotten.
    More
Powered by WorldNow
Can't find what you're looking for?

WRCB-TV
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 267-5412

WRCB Jobs EEO | FCC Public Files

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WRCB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.