TROUP COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) — Troup County residents have months of recovery and rebuilding ahead of them following last month’s tornado.
Volunteers have been working endlessly for the past 10 days, offering assistance to those affected by the devastating tornado on March 25 that leveled homes.
Emergency management officials traveled along the EF-3 tornado’s 22-mile long path of destruction that impacted nearly 150 homes, dozens of businesses, places of worship and other facilities.
A local church along West Point Road was completely decimated and is considered a total loss. Since the storm, Bethel Baptist Church members and staff lifted the community’s spirits by offering Sunday service and serving as a pick-up and drop-off location for basic necessities.
The pastor’s wife, Stephanie Hendricks, says her faith is what has kept her strong through this difficult time.
“The part that keeps us going is to know that God is in, always in full control,” said Hendricks. “We’ve had some to question, ‘how do we know?’ And the answer is not simple, but it’s pretty simple is that no one was killed, very minimal injuries, and there could be no other reason than it had to be God’s merciful hand.”
The Red Cross has been using the West Point Gymnasium as a shelter since the storm, offering meals and a safe place for people who have been displaced.
One volunteer traveled across the country from California when he found out about the tornado. He saw a need and didn’t think twice. For the last 17 years, Tom Klein has dedicated his time to the Red Cross, serving as a recovery specialist.
Klein said the most rewarding part of this job is knowing he is making a difference in people’s lives. One story sticks out to him specifically about a man who called him seven times to thank him for his assistance.
“But his last comment, too, on the message was there’s only two people in my life who was so patient with me, you and my mother,” said Klein. “And I just can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you did to help me out. And to me, that just warmed my heart. That’s the reason why I come here.”