By Nick Austin, Meteorologist / Reporter - bio | email
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Parts of Sand Mountain in Dade County, Georgia are still littered with tornado damage from last April. The concrete slab which used to be the anchor for Sheriff Patrick Cannon's home is empty, the house destroyed. One of dozens of homes in his community to meet this demise.
"The close calls of so many other people that just left their home or just got in the basement of the storm ripped their whole house apart," recalls Cannon.
Almost ten months later he and others still struggle to put the pieces back together because of insurance delays or, as Cannon explains, just being too busy.
"I think the challenge for a lot of folks in our community was getting past that curve and being able to start back building and getting their lives going," says Cannon.
But some have been more fortunate and have become a beacon of hope for those who have yet to begin rebuilding. Phillip Brown and his family own a tire service in Trenton, an area which received extensive tornado damage, too. The business and more were destroyed. It was a tough pill to swallow.
"We lost our homes, too, and then our business," says Brown. "That was hard having all of it at one time."
But they were able to rebuild, including their homes, and were back on their feet by mid-September at the shop. The waiting was one of the hardest parts of recovery, losing dollars every day.
"It was a lot. It was five months worth of business," says Brown.
Through prayer as well as faith in each other and the community, the family persevered and is definitely "back in business".
"Our customers have all been very loyal and they've all come back. I think it's really gonna work out good," says Brown.
Slowly but surely others are getting their lives back in order. It's the cohesiveness of the faith-based community, Cannon says, which has helped it even make it this far since their darkest hours on April 27, 2011.
"The times were tough. We dealt with what was handed to us and we'll continue to grow from it," exclaims Cannon.
If you still need recovery assistance in Dade County, contact the Sheriff's Department at 706-657-3233 for information.
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:03 PM EDT2013-05-19 17:03:59 GMT
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