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Dallas tornadoes' impact resonates in Lee County

Posted April 3, 2012
Updated April 4, 2012

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— When storm super cells spawned at least 62 tornado touchdowns in 20 counties across central and eastern North Carolina in April of last year, Lee County was among the hardest-hit areas.

Nearly a year later, victims of those storms were reminded of Mother Nature's terrifying power as news of two large, powerful and dangerous tornadoes in Texas spread across the nation.

Teresa Love has been planting trees at her home on Pine Line Drive to bring some foliage back the St. Andrew's neighborhood outside Sanford after a tornado on April 16 ripped away trees, roofs and homes, including part of her own.

She said she's naming the trees after family members to remind them that, though the tornado badly damaged her house, her family's sense of home could never be toppled.

"We just had a birthday party for my brother here and a lot of family here," Love said. "It just seemed like old times."

She didn't always feel that way. 

For a while, Love said, like many of her neighbors, she couldn't bear to face the destruction. Half of her house was gone, and she didn't think she would ever return.

"It just was (depressing) to come back out here and see all this," she said.

trees Lee County woman plants trees in tornado-ravaged area

Love, who huddled in her bathroom with her daughter and granddaughter when the tornado raged through, said it was her grandson who convinced her to rebuild. Many of her neighbors are doing the same, she said, though others have given up.

"It's still hard, at times, to talk about and, because it will be a year soon, the memories are more (vivid)," she said. 

Still, she said, St. Andrew's is bouncing back more quickly than she ever imagined.


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  • sayitoutloud Apr 4, 2012

    If the county wants to do something, they need to force the owners of the building that Tractor Supply and Big lots be torn down. Its been almost a year and its a huge eye sore.

  • Rebelyell55 Apr 4, 2012

    If it won't for the average citizens in Sanford, a lot of work would still be needed. Those folks took to the task and didn't wait on their local leaders. Now I read that the local leaders are backing plans to rape and ruin the county for a few bucks.