Newton County residents are starting to rebuild after a tornado destroyed several homes on Friday. Residents and volunteers came together Saturday for the start of a lengthy recovery process.
Crews of volunteers cut downed trees and cleared debris from a Mansfield neighborhood that was slammed by storms. But the cleanup there is only just beginning.
Neighbors on Kellogg Street were hardest hit. Even those who still have homes aren't able to stay in them. The power is out, and the water damage significant.
"It's just heartbreaking," said volunteer Sheila Massey. "I grew up here."
Massey told FOX 5 despite the damage, residents are pulling together to help the victims get through it.
"The community has just come out and helped everybody," she said. "It's been an outpouring of love."
At least five homes were leveled by winds that reached 115 miles per hour. Other homes sustained heavy damage. Resident Dwayne Whitaker came home to find most of his roof gone, and his family's belongings scattered across the street.
"I've never seen anything like it," said Whitaker. "It's just- - you hear about this stuff happening to people and then it happens to your house. You're like, 'Well, at least no one was here, no one was hurt.'"
The help started right away, with Newton County sheriff's deputies digging through what was left hours after the EF-2 tornado touched down. Residents say the destruction took only two seconds, but amazingly, no one was killed.
"To know that no one was killed is a miracle from God," said Massey. "We were being looked over."
One woman has an unbelievable story of survival to tell after she was thrown out of her mobile home in the storm, and trapped under a roof. She was hospitalized with two broken legs.
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