After The Storm: Apison residents remember April 27, 2011 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

After The Storm: Apison residents remember April 27, 2011

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APISON, TN (WRCB) - The April 27, 2011 tornado claimed the lives of eight people in Apison. Two years later, many of the homes have been rebuilt, but survivors say every detail of that night is still fresh in their minds.

A memorial stands at the edge of town with flowers placed under the names of those who lost their lives that day.

"He said, 'oh my goodness', get to the basement and so sure enough, it hit us broad sided," tornado victim, Jimmie Ford says.

When Jimmie Ford and her husband emerged from the basement, not much was left of their home. They also owned and rented out a trailer that landed in the tree tops.

"Initial shock, you're just like, this can't be real. This can't be happening, because, you know, you just never think of a tornado coming through this area," Ford says.

The tornado hit London Lane hard.

"I was in Vietnam and I've never seen nothing like this. I really have never seen nothing like this," tornado victim, David Bates says.

Today, trees are still snapped there, but families are back in their homes. The owner of one rebuilt, but then sold it.

"All the way to the back. It was completely gone," paramedic Michael Chaigne says.

The new owner is a Hamilton County paramedic who was working April 27th. He saw what most of us, thankfully, didn't have to.

"We had the assignment to recover some of the bodies during that night," he says.

He says that night stays fresh in his mind.

"You can't help it. You look out your window and you see broken trees everywhere so it's a constant reminder of what really happened," Chaigne says.

But he says he's glad to have joined this community that's grown closer and stronger in faith.
 
"It brought out the good in everybody," Ford says.

"People that don't believe in God, you know, be where we were that night," Bates says.

"I just hope, during my lifetime, we don't have to go through that again," Ford says.

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