Middle Tenn. remembers deadly tornadoes, one year later

Middle Tenn. remembers deadly tornadoes, one year later (Image 1)

One year has passed, since the deadliest tornado outbreak in recent memory.

On the night of February 5, 2008, twisters killed 33 people as they rolled through Tennessee.

The tornadoes destroyed 260 homes and buildings in three Mid-State counties.

Lafayette in Macon County to the northeast of Nashville suffered the most severe damage and the greatest death toll.

The damage totaled $78 million and 18 people were killed.

Jesse Britton and her husband Peter survived the storm by taking shelter in a bathtub.

After the storm passed, Peter Britton was left for dead before rescue workers realized he was still breathing.

He has now completely recovered from his injuries.

Glen Pedigo also survived the storm because he took shelter in a closet in his home when he saw the tornado.

The tornado picked his house up, twisted it around and then dropped it 30 feet from its foundation.

Pedigo said, “If it hadn't been for God, riding with me, I wouldn't be here. It's proven right in there. If I'd been anywhere in the house besides where I was at, I wouldn't be here.”

A candlelight vigil, honoring the victims and survivors, will be held Thursday on the courthouse lawn in Lafayette at 5 p.m.

Mayor Shelvy Linville told News 2, that 80% of the 231 homeowners who lost their homes in the storm have rebuilt.

The tornado outbreak extended well beyond Macon County.

In Sumner County, eight people were killed.

The National Weather Service said the tornado that rolled through Castalian Springs had wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour.

A rescue worker found 11-month-old Kyson Stowell in a field, after a tornado destroyed the home Kyson shared with his mother, Kerri Stowell.

The toddler's mother had died in the storm.  His grandmother said the toddler is now doing well.

Many victims are still rebuilding and trying to get their lives back to normal.

Rhonda Brinkley-DeMoss's home in Castalian Springs was destroyed in the storm, and her new mobile home was just recently made livable.

“It's been a real long road.  Ups and downs, more downs then it was ups, but you make it,” she told News 2.

Brinkley-DeMoss said the memories of the deadly tornado are still fresh.

“Anytime the wind gets to blowing you know we can hear the trees popping, it brings back, it takes you back,” she said.

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