After the Storm: Apison family has new home - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

After the Storm: Apison family has new home

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APISON, TN (WRCB) -- Willie Quinn and her husband Marvin narrowly escaped death, when an EF-4 tornado ripped their Apison home to shreds nearly two years ago.

They were inside when the storm struck. They'd been living there for more than four decades.

"Come on in here. We got to pray. I said the tornado is here," recalls Willie.

They remember the storm as if it happened only yesterday.

"Whoom! Like that. Stuff flew everywhere," Marvin remembers. "Then all of a sudden the house jarred. Boom!"

The house was moved several feet off its foundation and the entire roof blew away.

FEMA couldn't provide enough financially to rebuild. With no insurance and little savings, the Quinn's relied on the kindness of strangers. Volunteers from around the Tennessee Valley joined forces to make a new home for the Quinn's.

"I don't really know how to thank them for it," says Willie, holding back tears. "God laid it on their hearts to do it, or we wouldn't have it."

Just six months after the tornado, they moved into a new house.

They realize all too well they're lucky to be alive, especially knowing neighbors close to them died.

"Just across the railroad, four lost their lives," Willie explains. "Over on Bates Road there's four over there that lost their lives."

A memorial a few miles away commemorates those who perished. Almost two years later, the sights and even sounds of the storm still haunt the community.

"The trains sound much louder," says Marvin. "No trees. Everything's different."

When asked if their neighborhood will ever be the same, the Quinn's answer without hesitation.

"Not in our lifetime," exclaims Willie. "It won't ever be exactly the same."

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