Taking Storm Warnings Seriously Four Years After Cluster of Tornados Struck

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) — Everyone remembers what they were doing on 9-11 of 2001.
And most people in southeast Tennessee, Alabama and North Georgia know exactly what they were doing on this night 4 years ago.
Things have changed since that April day when we experienced a day-full of deadly tornados.

SHANA CHANDLER, CHEROKEE VALLEY "You realize how easily things can be really bad. I mean, like our neighbors that lost their lives just right here.. while we were hiding in the basement people were losing their lives …its a serious thing."

Shana Chandler and her two daughters ran to the basement just in time. The mile-wide tornado that topped the ridge and stayed on the ground for 33 miles…all the way to Cleveland…wrecked their home and changed their lives for ever.
Husband Chris, says it changed a lot more in this neighborhood.

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CHRIS CHANDLER, HUSBAND "well, if you drive up and down the road, you’ll see several..even just recently..put in the group storm shelters in and some of the homes that did not have basements…before they built back, they now have basements."

In Apison there are still places that have not been rebuilt….and empty lots where homes used to stand.
Right here is where four members of Brian Poe’s extended family lost their lives.

BRIAN POE, CLONTS ROAD "All I can say is I’m horrified of storms now."

Brian and his son hid in a ditch, but a tree fell on them during during the storm. Volunteers rebuilt his small home on Clonts road, but the last 4 years have not been kind to him.

BRIAN POE "The tree broke my back. I’ve already been through two surgeries…I go the 30th of this month, I may have to have a third surgery."

But perhaps worst of all, the owner of this property has put it up for sale.

BRIAN POE "I have nothing. i make a minimal amount a month…and it takes everything ..anybody on disability knows what I’m talking about."

This community has not forgotten April 27 of 2011..and never will.
This monument lists the names of all of their neighbors who died in the storm.