Cleanup continues for families

March 6, 2007

Americus--   Cleanup continues for families devastated by the tornadoes. One Americus family is counting their blessings.

As the sun goes down between storm-clipped trees in Americus, Deke Smith is still up.

"I've worked everyday since Friday," said Smith.

He's pushing away what's left of Mother Nature's wrath. "Soon as we had daylight, we picked back up where we left off the day before," said Smith.

It's working.  It may not look like it, but there's progress on Lynnview Drive.

"We've come a long way," said Smith. It's a long way from several days ago.  However, those memories can't be cleared away.  

"The sound. You won't ever forget that sound," said Smith. The tornado sounds had the Smith family huddled in their bathroom. Jaime Smith held on tightly to their 3-year-old daughter Avery.

"I was holding her looking up and wondering if the roof was going to come completely off of the house," said Jaime.

"You really just sit there and pray," said Deke.

Prayers worked and led them outside to the damage but that's not what stood out the most.  

"I was just overwhelmed that everybody ran outside and everybody was fine and that it was just material things," said Jaime.

The neighborhood pulled together to begin the cleanup process and hope to soon have things be somewhat normal again. "Our neighborhood didn't wait for anybody to come help them. They helped themselves. They cleared the street themselves," said Jaime.

They're trying to move on.  As Deke Smith works hours and days, he won't forget what he's most thankful for.

"Life. I can replace everything but that," said Deke. He'll spend the rest of his life remembering.