McMinn County families are still struggling after November tornado

The Newman family is still recovering, physically and emotionally, after an EF-2 tornado in November threw them 100 yards from their home.

More than six months after an EF-2 tornado tore through McMinn County, families are still working to rebuild their homes. For one family, finances stand in the way.

In November, the tornado brought 130-mile-per hour winds and left a path of damage spanning 11 miles. It injured more than two dozen people and damaged an estimated 400 buildings.

The Newmans were among those injured.

The storm threw them more than 100 yards from their home. They all suffered multiple injuries. Daughter Amber delivered her baby, Ava, from the hospital later that night.

“It’s a miracle from God that we’re even alive,” Greg Newman said.

Physically, they are all recovering from their injuries, but mentally, the family said they are still suffering from anxiety and PTSD left from the storm.

"If there's a storm, the only thing I think about is if there's going to be a tornado," Natalie Grace Newman, 15, said.

The family didn't get any assistance from FEMA. Now, mortgage payments and medical bills are piling up.

"Going through what we all went through and losing everything you have and then trying to bounce back, I mean you're down for a little while," April Newman said.

The family has thousands of dollars in medical bills still left to pay. They say it will be a while before they can consider rebuilding.

"I thought it would take maybe a couple of months to get everything going but, it's taken a lot longer expected," Greg Newman said.

For the time being, they are renting a house down the road, but the family said their recovery isn't over until they're back home.

When they do rebuild, the Newmans said they will make sure the new home has a basement for their safety and peace of mind. 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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