A year later, still work to do in tornado-damaged areas - | WBTV Charlotte

A year later, still work to do in tornado-damaged areas


"It took only eight seconds," said Tim Higdon. 

In those eight seconds homes were torn apart, and life as folks in the neighborhood knew it has not been the same.

"It will never be quite the same here," said Ronald Casteel.

It was a year ago this Friday night when the warning sounded and people went for cover.

"My boyfriend and I were under a mattress when the debris and concrete was flying around us," said Linda Thomas.

They had to be pulled out of the wreckage through a window after rescue crews arrived on the scene.

"It's always with you," said Thomas.

Most homes in the neighborhoods affected along Johnson Brudge Road in Burke County have been rebuilt or replaced. 

Some were replaced through the help of grants and other disaster relief, others through insurance claims.

In some cases, volunteers, sometimes from our of state came in to help residents rebuilt.

Thomas' home was rebuilt with help from the Baptists Men's Organization.

While the neighborhoods have a fresh look, debris from the storm is never far away.

In most wooded areas insulation can still be seen in the trees and some pieces of metal roofing are still caught in branches. On the forest floor, shingles, and household items can be found. Volunteers and others are continuing to help in that cleanup. Downed trees present a problem as well.

Officials say in some spots there are so many trees down they pose a fire hazard.

Residents won't have a formal remembrance when the anniversary hits Friday evening but most said they will be thinking about it.

"It is definitely a scary thought," said Casteel.

He and others hope they never see another tornado and will be nervous anytime a storm is brewing in the distance or forecasters bring up the possibility.

"We will be watching," said Higdon.

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