GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. - It's been three years since tornadoes touched down in Greene County, Tennessee. On this anniversary, many people are once again feeling anxious as strong storms approach the region.
The gymnasium at Andrew Johnson School on South Main Street in Greeneville was being used as ashelter for people who may need somewhere safe to go during the storms. Monday's weather is bringing back some bad memories for a lot of Greene County residents still trying to heal.
Driving around Camp Creek, it's easy to see the scars left behind in April 2011. An empty front porch, once attached to a home, stands in front of a memorial honoring lives lost. Residents like Elizabeth Effler say it's a different feeling here after the deadly tornadoes swept through.
"People in Camp Creek have changed, the whole thing has changed," she said. "Nobody is the same anymore."
Effler knows first-hand -- we met her three years ago after her home was destroyed. She survived by hiding underground in a hole usually reserved for the family's potato crops. "I try not to dwell on it. If you do, it will break you down. The family has rebuilt and added a storm cellar," she said.
For those who don't have a safe place to go, Greene County opened a shelter at the Andrew Johnson School gymnasium according to EMA director Bill Brown. "This is for the people, especially those that live in mobile homes, the people that live in dwellings they think are unsafe or can't withstand the winds," he said.
Many people in greene county will keep a close eye on the weather while keeping in the back of their minds that fateful night three years ago.
The shelter in Greeneville is open all night as needed. Greene County residents with questions can call the EMA office at (423) 798-1729.
View before-and-after photos of the damage in Greene County:
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- Many busy picking up the pieces after severe storms strike our region