Stewart County tornado survivors move back into rebuilt farm home

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LUMPKIN, Ga. (WRBL) The last time we visited with Stewart County tornado survivors Winston and Julie Morrison they were picking up the pieces of their lives.

Their home and farm near Lumpkin were hit destroyed by the March 3 tornado.

The last nine months have been a test of faith — and an opportunity to rebuild. All the tornado left was the home’s foundation and a sense of peace in the wake of the storm.

“When I stepped out on that front porch after the tornado, it wasn’t about stuff. It wasn’t about our things,” Julie Morrison says. “Now, I enjoy our things. But it was, ‘We’re here. We lived through it.”

And they have made the most of the last months, staying with friends and rebuilding.

What they have been through has also strengthened their faith.

“People ask, ‘Why were y’all able to walk out of this when they saw the house?’ when they saw the house,” Julie says. “And for a long time I was quiet and I kept thinking. I think it was to tell the story, what happened to us and why we are here. I think it is to try and help lead somebody else to Christ.”

They were in a small hallway as everything around them was sucked away. And from the time the storm was over, their community has wrapped them in love.

“A huge thing for me that I have learned if somebody is going through something don’t ask them, ‘Call me if I can do anything to help you,'” Julie says. “Just get in there and do it. That’s what people did for us. They just got in here and did it. They didn’t ask.”

Now, all Winston Morrison wants is something that probably isn’t going to happen.

“I am ready for everything to get back to normal,” Winston says. “I just want everything to be back the way it was. And that will never happen again,’’

The home was rebuilt on the same footprint of the hilltop house that was destroyed. It’s pretty much the same house. The granite kitchen countertops were repurposed.

The new home stands as a reminder of the old one. And Julie Morrison still has vivid memories of that fateful moment.

“When it was over, we never felt the suction until it got right over us — dead over us,” Julie says. “Then as the ceiling started splitting, I felt the suction. And I think that’s when God put his thumb down and said, ‘Be gone.’”

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