CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – April 12th, 2021 marks one year since tornadoes devastated parts of Hamilton County.
To this day families and businesses are still working to pick up the pieces and to rebuild.
Homeowners Carrie and Frank Fugunt just recently were able to move back into their home after 8 months of being displaced from the storms. They tell News 12 they have learned valuable lessons from last year’s events.
“As horrible and traumatic as it was it brought us together as a family. We had to work together as a team. Every Saturday we were out here helping and fixing things. We came out on the better side as better people, better parents and have a whole new love for our community,” says Carrie Fugunt.
Hamilton County Mayor says in the 10 years he has been in office, this was his third time watching his community get destroyed- and says it never gets any easier.
“All of the tornadoes have done a lot of devastation and have left scars both physical and emotional. Here in Hamilton County, the resilience of our citizens and volunteers is unmatched to anywhere else in the county,” says Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger.
When the storms passed and the damage had been done, First responders were already on scene climbing through the rubble to help residents get to safety.
“It’s something we try to prepare for it but it doesn’t put it into a good perspective. There were trees on top of cars, on top of houses, through houses , trees through other trees. It’s a mind blowing situation when you have that much devastation and luckily we did not have as many deaths as we could have had,” says Battalion Chief David Thompson, Chattanooga Fire Department
The reconstruction continues for our area and the hope of getting back to normalcy continues to grow throughout the community.