Aug 31 marked the oneyear anniversary of an EF2

first_imgAug. 31 marked the one-year anniversary of an EF2 tornado that tore through Pickens and Fayette counties.One year later, some residents are still recovering even as their homes are rebuilt and the fallen trees and power lines are long gone.Reform isn’t used to much in the way of life-threatening weather, so when an EF2 tornado approached Aug. 31, 2017, residents weren’t sure what would happen next.“We were expecting something, bracing for something,” said Reform Fire and Rescue’s Dereck Richardson. “We just didn’t know how bad it was really gonna be.”Richardson was one of the first who responded in the aftermath of the storm, along with the rest of Reform’s fire and police departments.“(The tornado) crossed (U.S. Highway) 82 right up here, just above our Dollar General, and came up through the woods and kind of picked up and bounced, and touched back down right here on Ninth Avenue,” Richardson said.One family who lives on that stretch of road is still reeling a year later after their entire home was hoisted into the air, then dropped into the middle of the road. Elise McGarity wasn’t home, but her husband was. He escaped without any significant injuries.“He went outside and he couldn’t believe the damage that was done,” McGarity said. “He’s even been afraid of thunderstorms since then, because of the noise.”In communities like Reform, residents rally around those affected, helping them get back on their feet and on with their lives.“You know, we’re not a big county here, there’s nothing special about us, but we do have a lot of people with big hearts,” Richardson said.last_img read more

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