Ringgold community remembers deadly 2011 tornadoes
The city of Ringgold may have recovered physically from the 2011 tornadoes, but they won't ever forget the day that changed their community forever.
Six years ago, the deadliest tornado outbreak in documented U.S. history devastated the south. The city of Ringgold may have recovered physically from the 2011 tornadoes, but they won't ever forget the day that changed their community forever.
"You think about those things all the time, especially when you have inclement weather, you think about is this tornado weather? And you pray that it's not," said Robert Akins, Ringgold High School’s Athletic Director.
READ MORE | After the Storm: One Year Later
Winds of 190 miles per hour leveled part of the high school and shredded its athletic fields.
"I remember watching the news in class and thinking there's no way we're going to have a tornado here, we're in Ringgold Georgia, things like that don't happen here,” said RHS student Mikayla Dycus.
On this anniversary, Dycus and her classmates held a moment of silence for the eight people. The same storm took the lives of RHS students -- Chelsea Black and Adam Carroll. Though some didn't know them personally, they will always be a big part of the Tiger community.
READ MORE | After the Storm: The lives lost
"That silence is for those that we lost number one but then I think it's for the blessings God has given us by allowing us to be better than we've ever been,” Akins said.
Across town, employees at Cochran’s Furniture are also remembering that day, the tornado tore through the front of the building.
"The awning was totally messed up and destroyed and back here is the warehouse where all the boxes and furniture is kept and that was demolished,” Jonathan Cochran said.
The family owned business put together a scrapbook, some pages bring back difficult memories, while other pages show the hope and resilience of Ringgold.
"The day after that you're shocked, you're traumatized by what has happened but within a day you realize you gotta roll your sleeves up and get busy,” Akins added.