Weather

Emotional scars linger from April tornado

Posted November 16, 2011
Updated November 17, 2011

— Seven months ago, a tornado ripped through the town of Sanford. Although many people have repaired their homes, the emotional scars remain.

Roy and Linda Dinkins were in their Sanford home when a tornado hit on April 16. 

"I felt like it was going to suck me out of the house," Linda Dinkins said.

The home's windows were shattered and a tree punctured the roof. Four cars in their driveway were also totaled. 

After the brutality of the storm, strangers helped them with home repairs. A local company even donated a car to the couple. 

Things are getting closer to normal for the couple, but they say the fear comes back whenever a storm is approaching. 

"We get nervous when we hear something is coming," Linda Dinkins said. She said she never felt that way before. 

A few streets away from the Dinkins, Jordan Thomas and his family have settled into their newly repaired home. 

St. Andrews Emotional recovery from tornado hardest part

Thomas, 16, his mother and sister weren't home when the tornado hit their house in the Saint Andrews neighborhood. He doesn't think the family would have survived if they had been.

"I would have been in my room, and every single wall there was missing," Thomas said. 

The house was so badly damaged, it had to be rebuilt. The family moved back in two months ago. 

A Lowe's Home Improvement store in Sanford was severely damaged during the tornado. More than 100 employees and customers were in the store when a tornado tore the steel roof off the building. No one was seriously hurt, thanks to the quick action of manager Michael Hollowell and his staff who moved everyone to the back of the store, where there are no windows.

The remodeled store reopened in September. 

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