Survivor Story: Family watches demolition of their home weeks after Easter Tornado

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Exactly a month after the Easter tornado, victims are still cleaning up and rebuilding.

For some, this means starting completely over.

News 12’s Bekah Birdsall has the story.

“That’s all you heard was a twist and snap of trees, and the smell of fresh pine and rain, that’s all I remember from then.”

A month after the devastating Easter tornado in East Brainerd, we see how the community is recovering.

“I’m still shaken up about it. I already had storm anxiety anyway, I feel like, I just didn’t like storms and so know, it’s like, I definitely don’t like them, there’s been a few times already in this house where I’ve had us in a closet.”

The Martin family hadn’t even lived at their first home for a year before the tornado demolished it. But, they are forever grateful their two year old son, Lucas was staying at a family members house that night.

“We told him the house was broken, and we said the storms the other night, those loud storms, it you know, broke the house, the house is broken, and he looks at us and says, it’s ok, I’ll get my drill and my hammer, I go fix it, and we were like yep that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

Unfortunately, they told me most of Lucas’s baby items were in the attic which was completely unsalvageable.

Their home was one of the worst that got hit, and they knew it when they saw the damage.

“What I can only describe as an explosion which was my bonus room being ripped off the house, the roof being torn off.”

“I looked down our hallway and it just, like ends outside. Our bonus room is just like, gone and it was just a lot to take in.”

They say their insurance has been able to cover costs of rebuilding as well as, putting them in a rental house.

Monday, they started demolition on their home to begin starting over.

“Now knowing that it’s gone, for me I can say it’s a cleaner feeling, that way I can start on something else, but seeing it yesterday, it just brought back a lot of memories because I mean, yeah we’ve been for like a year but, Lucas loved this house too, I mean we had a lot of fun there.”

While they grieve for the home they once had, they are excited to build their new home and design it, custom to what they want.

Reporting in Chattanooga, I’m Bekah Birdsall, News 12 Now.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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