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Wretched Memories

The headmaster of Westwood School says the closer tornado season gets, the more concerned people become.

Tim Luther says, "Because they've experienced at least on two different occasions tornadoes hitting here."

Because of that, Luther says preparing for severe weather has more meaning. Luther remembers the most recent tornado in 2003.

"I saw the damage and made it as quickly as I could to the school here. Our school was spared."

A tornado just three years earlier would be one of the deadliest. Eleven people were killed on February 13, 2000.

Lakisha Gardner, a Camilla resident, says, "The next day after the tornado we got up and went looking for people. People were laying all in the road, bodies were everywhere."

Gardner says though it's been five years, there are things that keep the memories fresh.

Gardner says, "The people that were here, they're not here anymore, they moved because they are afraid and no one wants to stay out here because they say it's tornado alley."

Roderick Brooke, a resident, adds, “I'm not going anywhere, I'm going to stay right here. f it's meant to happen it's going to happen."

But residents say having gone through it twice and survived has taught them to be ready.

Luther says, "We try to have one or two severe weather drills so our kids can be prepared in the event, which we hope never happens."


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