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Clean Up Continues 1 Week After Cookeville Tornado

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Posted at 10:12 PM, Jul 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 09:03:37-04

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - It's been one week since Vicky Miller's son captured video of the Cookevile tornado taking form.

“It’s still scary even just to think back about it,” she said from her 50 acre family farm. The farm is home to four generations but as of Tuesday the clean-up is slow going.

“We’re having to wait on getting that cleaned to see what the insurance what all was damaged,” she said, “we've hauled eight (tractor-trailer) loads (of debris)so far out of the field.”

While some properties look almost back to normal, you can still see gaping holes all over town where trees were uprooted.

On the lawn where Judy Kelly had giant trees knocked over, now sits a pile of firewood. She owns an in-home day care and everyone was inside at the time.

“One of the little girls said ‘this is the first time I've been in a tornado!’ and I said ‘hopefully you won’t have to do it again,’” she said.

As life slowly moves on, Cookeville residents have time to reflect on the storm.

“It's a devastation for anybody,” said Kelly, “I mean I'm thankful to God for the kids not getting hurt.”

And on top of everything it was a night that broke records in Tennessee.

“Seventy-eight of the last 100 years we haven’t had a single tornado in July,” said NewsChannel 5 Chief Meteorologist Ron Howes, “this year we've had nine and the previous record is four.”

The Millers work to pile the debris from their destroyed barn and sheds. But they say as they move forward they plan to focus on what remains.

“For such devastation we all lived through it and as far as I know no one at all got hurt and its just amazing,” Vicky Miller said.

It’s a silver lining as southwest Cookeville slowly gets back on its feet.