Dunn family struggles to see future after tornado

Posted April 27, 2011 3:53 p.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2011 6:09 p.m. EDT

— Eleven days after a tornado destroyed their Harnett County home, the Bakers are still struggling to find direction.

Sherry Baker, her husband, Stanley, and their daughter, Barbara, cowered in the hallway of their Carroll Byrd Lane home on April 16 as the swirling winds of a tornado sucked their life's belongings into the air.

Stanley Baker, a Vietnam veteran, jumped on top of his wife and daughter to shield them. The attic door and roof fell on top of him. The three suffered minor injuries.

The wreckage from their home now sits in a ditch outside, waiting to be hauled to the dump. 

"I still don’t know what I’m doing, and I still don’t know where I’m going," Sherry Baker said from the family's temporary home – a room at the Jameson Inn in Dunn. 

"You're in a strange place, and you still have a lot on your mind," Stanley Baker said.

Sherry Baker said she has often started to drive in the direction of their old home after running errands, only to realize "I didn't have a home to go to."

Their hotel room is filled with storage containers of new clothes, canned goods and a few trinkets they were able to pull from the house.

They don't complain because, they say, they are grateful to be alive and have insurance.

"We just have to go slow and take our time. We’ve been blessed with good insurance people," Stanley Baker said.

The family also credits friends, neighbors and local churches with helping them clean out the house and start the recovery process.

Since they are insured, the Bakers said they have not applied for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Bakers are now looking for a rental home.