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Residents reflect on year since EF-2 tornado hit Eufaula neighborhood

Families have spent the past 12 months rebuilding, facing unique challenges because of the pandemic.
(Source: WSFA)
(Source: WSFA)(WTVY News 4)
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 4:19 AM CDT
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EUFAULA, Ala. (WTVM) - It’s been a year since a tornado struck a neighborhood in Eufaula, leaving behind damage and destruction.

Families have spent the past 12 months rebuilding, facing unique challenges because of the pandemic.

Pebble Beach Drive in Eufaula looks a bit different now than the day of the storm.

“You know the old saying, ‘Looks like a tornado ran through here?’ said Nancy Ross, whose home was badly damaged in the storm. “Well, it did.”

According to the National Weather Service, that tornado was an EF-2 with winds of up to 130 miles per hour. It tore through the neighborhood March 31, 2020, destroying multiple homes and damaging at least a dozen others.

“When I [saw] where the garage was, it was just destroyed,” said Lucy Lassek. “Every window in the house blew out except for the patio doors.”

Debris and fallen trees no longer litter the neighborhood, but 12 months after the storm, Ross and Lassek are still dealing with the aftermath.

“It’s been a really slow, slow process,” Ross said.

Lassek’s home was nearly destroyed in the tornado. COVID-19 brought delays in construction, limited access to building materials, and more. She’s only recently moved back into her house.

“The worst part about it is, we had to start from scratch aside from the walls,” she said. “It doesn’t feel like my house yet. We have boxes and boxes to put away still.”

Ross, too, is still fixing the damage at her house from the storm after her porch was destroyed, windows were broken, and roof damaged.

“It all eventually is getting done,” she said. “There is a bit of chimney work that has to be done, but it’s a year later.”

Resident said there are about four houses that were destroyed and have not been rebuilt. Ross and Lassek said they’re looking forward to the future now that they have reached the tornado’s anniversary.

“I’m optimistic, very optimistic,” Ross said.

According to officials, no one was badly hurt or killed in the storm.

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