Some Beauregard residents decide not to rebuild after March 3rd tornadoes

Some Beauregard residents decide not to rebuild after March 3rd tornadoes
(Source: WTVM)

BEAUREGARD, Ala. (WTVM) - While some Beauregard residents are happily moved in their newly rebuilt homes, others have decided to sell their properties and leave the area.

Richard Widger has lived in Beauregard for 12 years.

“It’s quiet out here," he said. "People pretty much know everyone out here, and it’s just a good place to live.”

Widger’s property sits on Lee Road 38, where some of the worst of the destruction lies from the tornadoes on March 3.

He said at first, they thought they were going to sell the property and move out of the area.

His wife wouldn’t even go back there after the tornadoes.

“Her first reaction was that we were moving," Widger said. "She had no intention to come back.”

But they decided to stay, and even bought the property next door.

“It doesn’t matter where you move, this could happen anywhere," he said. "We had a lot of memories here, and we weren’t going to be chased out.”

Some residents say they have heard of neighbors deciding to sell their properties. New listings are appearing online.

Juanita Smith who has lived on Lee Road 38 for over 20 years said she thinks there’s one driving force behind people leaving.

“Maybe they’re scared, that’s what I think," Smith said. "And they made the decision not to come back.”

There was no question for her and her husband about staying.

“From the beginning, I just feel that we were coming back, and we were going to stay right here,” she said.

Widger said he is sad that some of his neighbors might be leaving but understands why.

“Some of the people that lost families, it might be a total different situation if we lost a family member on this property,” he said.

He said he is grateful to have a new home and to return to some normalcy, but is still sad that not everyone’s staying.

Both Widger and Smith said they just look forward to more houses being built and are glad the community is on track to rebuild, nearly four months after the tornadoes.

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