A Monroe County town is marking the second anniversary of a destructive tornado with a new safety measure.


When we first met Glenda Evans on March 2, 2012, she was seeing the damage she survived for the first time since she crawled out of the rubble.

"Just like one, two, three and it was on top of me," Evans said in an interview with 10News in 2012.

An EF-2 tornadopulled her mobile home off its foundation, twisted it in the air, and slammed it into another home. She was inside her mobile home, seated in her recliner the entire time. She escaped with scrapes and bruises.

She still struggles with those images two years later.

MORE: March 2012-Tellico Plains storm victims turn to faith

"God kept me here for some reason. I don't know why, but he did," she said Tuesday.

"You wouldn't have recognized it if you would have driven into Tellico Plains that afternoon," said Mayor Patrick Hawkins.

Hawkins said Evans wasn't the only person surprised by the tornado. He said many people in town, including him, were not expecting it.

"We thought we were immune to tornadoes, because growing up, I was always told Tellico will never be hit by a tornado because we're protected by the mountains," said Hawkins.

It was a wake-up call for him.

That's why when the TVA approached him about a donation of tornado sirens, he gladly accepted the offer.

The Tennessee Valley Authority donated 27 sirensto Tellico Plains, Madisonville, Sweetwater, Vonore, Rockwood, and Elgin, Alabama after they renovated the systems at their nuclear sites.

Tuesday, Tellico Plains tested the sirens for the first time.

"With our small budget here in town, we never would have been able to purchase the sirens. So the way it worked out, it's almost like divine intervention," Hawkins said.

Some residents, like Evans, have rebuilt and others have moved away. Residents hope the tests are the only time they will ever hear the sirens again, but they are grateful to know they have an extra layer of warning if they need them.

"I pray and hope we never have to go through another drama like that again," said Evans.

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