Nearly one year after an EF-2 tornado tore through McMinn County, many families there are still struggling to rebuild.

The tornado touched down in late November 2016, bringing 130 mile-per-hour winds to a path 11 miles wide. It damaged dozens of buildings and injured more than two dozen people.

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Homes along Highway 307 east were hit the hardest. Many families in that area still don’t have the funds to rebuild.

Doyle and Marie Morris' family lost everything in the storm. The tornado took out their house, barn, two cars and Marie's parents' house, which sat on the property. The land has been in the family for decades.

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An EF-2 tornado leveled the Morris family's home. A year later, they are almost ready to move back in. 

“It started off as a normal night, I mean, we had a little bit of bad weather, but we never thought much of a tornado in November,” Doyle Morris said.

Over the last year, the Morris family was able to rebuild their house, but they consider themselves lucky. Not everyone hit by the storm was able to rebuild.

“Of all the homes that were destroyed, even damaged, there might be a handful that are even close to being back to normal," Kimberly Montooth, the Morris' daughter said.

Despite Gov. Bill Haslam's request, the county did not receive assistance from FEMA after the storm. According to McMinn County Mayor John Gentry, it didn't meet the criteria to be declared a federal disaster.

"I think people felt like they just didn't matter," Montooth said.

The Morris’ insurance covered their home, but not the barn or other structures lost in the storm. They’ve spent the last year rebuilding and hope to move back in around Thanksgiving. But this year, Christmas is coming a little early.

"We were always the family that did not put up the tree before Thanksgiving was over,” Montooth said.

That's changed this year, as she and her kids helped her parents put up their tree early.

“This year, them having a Christmas tree is very significant in them getting back to their normal," she said.

As the holidays approach, the Morris family is more grateful than ever.

"It really makes you appreciate every day,” Montooth said, “especially with the people who mean the most."