Tornado victims reconstruct their lives - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tornado victims reconstruct their lives

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Bowl-A-Rama holds Back-to-School Bash

    Bowl-A-Rama holds Back-to-School Bash

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:19:59 GMT
    James Smith, studentJames Smith, student
    An Albany bowling alley is helping kids have a little fun before they go back to school. Bowl-A-Rama held its first Back-to-School Bash for High School Students in Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, and Baker Counties. More >>
    An Albany bowling alley is helping kids have a little fun before they go back to school. Bowl-A-Rama held its first Back-to-School Bash for High School Students in Dougherty, Lee, Mitchell, and Baker Counties. More >>
  • Valdosta organization prepares for backpack giveaway

    Valdosta organization prepares for backpack giveaway

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:14:47 GMT
    Volunteers at Moody Air Force Base pre-packed more than 900 backpacks with school supplies on Friday.More >>
    Volunteers at Moody Air Force Base pre-packed more than 900 backpacks with school supplies on Friday.More >>
  • Sylvester residents gather for National Night Out

    Sylvester residents gather for National Night Out

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:11 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:11:03 GMT
    Scott Vandermolen, Florida residentScott Vandermolen, Florida resident
    A week after 8 teenagers were shot at a party in Sylvester people came together there Friday night to fight crime .A National Night Out celebration was held at Jeffords Park downtown. More >>
    A week after 8 teenagers were shot at a party in Sylvester people came together there Friday night to fight crime .A National Night Out celebration was held at Jeffords Park downtown. More >>

May 17, 2005

Donalsonville- Two tornadoes earlier this year are leading to a storm warning system in Seminole County. They displaced dozens of people and caused millions of dollars worth of damage.

     Drilling and hammering are the sounds of lives like Billy Reynolds' being reconstructed after tornadoes tore them apart just two months ago. "It has been rough. But we're making it, we're making it," he says.

     One other person didn't make it in Seminole, and eight others were hurt. But Reynolds' is still a life turned upside down, and a home turned inside out. "My house was totally damaged. They totaled the whole house out," he says.

     The end figure is $60,000 in damage to a home that no amount can replace. But the story is similar for 24 other homeowners in Seminole, homeowners EMA officials say are on their own now. "The Red Cross has left the area, GEMA, of course, has left the area. So now, people are on their own working with insurance companies to get everything back in order," says Lt.... Jeffery Grice.

     The damage is so severe, the EMA is still waiting for a final figure. Officials can only say it's definitely in the millions. "GEMA hasn't gotten back with us yet, or the insurance companies," says Grice.

     One totaled home is right on the edge of the Seminole County / Miller County line, simple proof that tornadoes don't respect boundaries. Along with Seminole, Miller County took a large hit from the tornadoes as well.

     "We had close to 140 homes that received damage, anywhere from minor up to completely destroyed," says Miller EMA director, Billy Rathel. Minor or leveled, one thing is certain, the destruction all equals expensive. "We have an approximate cost of 10 to 12 million dollars worth of damage," says Rathel.

     Ten people were hurt in Miller, something that hits close to home for Reynolds, one county over. "I made it out. That's the only thing that's important. You know, we can put the house back," he says. His is a house that, like many others in Seminole, is still about 3 months from completion.

     The one person killed in the tornadoes was Reynolds neighbor, Mary Burrington.

Feedback: news@walb.com