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Midwest Tornadoes Remind N.C. Victims of Past Storms

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RALEIGH — Devastating storms are filled with pictures of loss and fear. But people can also find inspiring stories about people helping people and stories of hope and of survival.

Most people do not know what it is like to lose their home and everything they own. Tornado victims know that sense of loss.

They also know what it is like to face death. The tornadoes in the Midwest have brought back memories for survivors in North Carolina.

Nothing could prepare Angela Gregory for the sight of her Orange County home after it was leveled by a tornado last year.

"It's one thing to hear it. It's something else to see it. You really go blank for a little while," said Gregory.

Gregory and her two boys were not home when the tornado hit. For that, she is grateful and mindful of what victims in the Midwest are going through.

"It's extremely disheartening. You don't know which end is up any more," said Gregory.

"Walking in there and seeing the ceiling caved in and the toys all over the place was total shock," said Jackie Cook, Sonshine Learning Center director.

OnMarch 20, 1998 a tornado ripped through the Sonshine Learning Centerin Garner. The children had been sent home just 20 minutes before it hit.

"You never know what's going to happen, and it makes you think about what could have possibly happened," said Cook.

Three years ago, a tornado tore through a mobile home Park in Zebulon; one couple remembers it like it was yesterday. Their hearts go out to victims in the Midwest.

"For the ones that lost their lives in Oklahoma, we think about it. We're lucky that no one lost there lives here. A few lost their homes, but you can replace that," said tornado victim Ronald Pulley.

All of the victims WRAL talked to Tuesday say the pictures of the destruction in the Midwest reminded them of what they went through. It has also reminded them of how lucky they are.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Joe Frieda, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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