Salem Tornado 3 Months Later - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lee County

Salem Tornado 3 Months Later

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

SALEM, AL (WTVM) -  It's been months since the small Lee County town of Salem was torn apart by a tornado.

But everywhere you look, you can still see the storm's aftermath.

"It's been slow around here- putting this building back together, my house back together. A lot of people don't have their places fixed yet because their insurance companies haven't paid off," said Whitfield Woodall who is the owner of Salem Antiques and a Salem resident.

February 28th, 2009 and the snow storm that followed are days many locals won't soon forget.

A lot of rebuilding has been done but some victims are still not living in their homes.

At Wacoochee Middle School, lots of repairs need to be done while students are out for summer.

"They are completing the work in the lunchroom which was completely destroyed for the most part. They had already completed the six classrooms that were destroyed that were destroyed. They were finished when the kids came back. We are going to redo all of the flooring in the entire building, do some painting and then some of the skylights that had to be taken out because of roof damage, they're going to be replaced with lighting," explained Assistant Principal Shannon Tomlin.

In front of the school, the last of the pieces are being cleared of the Salem Chapel AME Church.

In the meantime, church members are having their Sunday services back in Wacoochee's gymnasium as they continue to raise money to rebuild on the same plot that fell prey to the tornado.

Many of those affected continue to think positive.

"We just keep saying we weren't here, weren't in school when it happened and we just feel very blessed that that was the case," said Tomlin.

"A lot of people didn't know where Salem was but they do now," added Woodall.

If you'd like to make a donation to the Salem Chapel AME Church, you can go to any local Wachovia branch.

And if you've been affected by the tornado and still have unmet needs, you can contact the Lee County Emergency Management Agency at 334-749-8161.

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