After the storm: Dade County two years later - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

After the storm: Dade County two years later

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TRENTON, GA (WRCB) -- Sand Mountain Bible Camp opened on a heavily-wooded, 100-plus acres more than 40 years ago. A tornado the morning of April 27th, 2011 changed the landscape.

Director Philip Trask had trouble reaching the camp after the storm passed.

"We estimated about 60 to 70 trees that we had to cut, just to get over to the main campground area," recalls Trask.

A second tornado later that day downed hundreds more. Thankfully no one was hurt or killed, but seven of the camp's 15 buildings were destroyed.

"That was two cabins, a boys dorm, a work shed. One home was destroyed," says Trask.

The tornado also demolished the largest structure known as the tabernacle. It held a special meaning for Trask.

"When I was ten years of age, that's where I accepted the Lord as my savior, in that building," says Trask.

He goes on to say the biggest challenge in rebuilding has been money. The camp's non-profit status makes it difficult to receive aid.

"After pursuing the different agencies, to everyone we were somehow excluded from their coverage," explains Trask.

Camp was canceled the following summer with only a partial camp in the summer of 2012, severely reducing funds. Limited insurance and a loan helped rebuild only a few structures so far. 

Down in the valley Rachel Phillip moved back into Mountain View Apartments last May after losing everything. She's doing more to stay ahead of storms.

"I did immediately [after the tornado] go buy a weather radio and it's hanging up right there," says Phillip as she points to a living room wall.

"I am more prepared," adds Phillip.

If she's able to escape her home before the next tornado, she hopes to lose much less after better organization.

"You'll see everything's in plastic totes because I'm terrified. What if we get another tornado," states Phillip.

Trask says no matter how bad the storm or limited the resources for recovery, the most important is his faith in God.

"Through it all we've learned that His grace is sufficient," says Trask.

He hopes to have all the destroyed building replaced by 2020.

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