After the Storm: "Welcome Home Parker Family!"
CLEVELAND, BRADLEY COUNTY (WRCB) -- The Parker family's Cleveland home was all but destroyed six months ago by a widespread tornado outbreak that changed their lives forever.
Terry Parker, the family's patriarch, remembered it as if it happened yesterday.
"By the time we hit the floor everything blew up," he says. "Windows, doors popped, blowing out, glass was flying everywhere."
Their home on Eggleston Drive was rebuilt through the efforts of local companies and it's the first rebuild completed by the Cleveland-Bradley County Long Term Recovery Organization (LTRO). The Parkers have been overwhelmed by all the efforts, which have resulted in this new chapter of their lives.
"I've always said, 'thank you'," says Terry. "I can't put it into any other words other than 'thank you'."
"It's like God just told them to come over here and open their hearts," says Jessica, Terry's daughter.
Thursday's ceremony included a choir, a ribbon cutting, and a visit from Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, who wanted to check on the progress of the Cleveland neighborhood and welcome the Parker's into their new dwelling.
"We're kind of seeing another chapter as a neighborhood gets rebuilt and a family gets to move into a brand new home," says Governor Haslam.
Terry Parker's wife, Sandy, was filled with emotion and excitement.
"I appreciate anything anybody's done, from the heart," said Terry and she held back tears. "I love my new home and I love my neighbors, and everything's so good now."
She offered some words of encouragement for those who are still picking up the pieces and have yet to rebuild. "God's taking care of everything. So, it will happen," said Sandy.
Terry hopes all the good will they received doesn't stop with his family. "This isn't just for me. I hope this continues on through each and every project."
The LTRO plans to build 12 new homes for families over the next six months using more than $200,000 committed to the rebuilds. To date, Whirpool has donated more than 80 appliances to families recovering from the tornadoes.