Residents continue to rebuild six months after Athens tornadoes

Image: WTVC

Residents have worked tirelessly for the last six months cleaning up an Athens neighborhood hit by a tornado.

While it might not make sense to many, Geanine Scherbarth says the storms that tore apart her home last November were a blessing.

"We experienced some extensive damage to our house, but God took care of us," Scherbarth said.

Now, she and her husband are living in a camper outside of the home they are working to repair.

"We incurred so much water damage that we had black mold," she said. "So, they ended up totally gutting the house except for the dining room and the kitchen."

Both she and her husband were home when the tornado hit in November.

Scherbarth says she and her husband did have insurance, but when they came up 40,000 dollars short of what they needed to fix their house... her community pitched in to help get the job started.

Until a month ago the Scherbarth's didn't have any running water, and to this day, they only have enough electricity in here to run a fan.

She wants her difficult experience to encourage others that it is possible to get through hard times, even though she doesn't know when hers will end.

"It becomes difficult the closer you get because you want normal- whatever normal is, I'd like normal," she said. "It'll come."

Winds launched Vickie Patterson and her family off their property that night.

"We were all in the bathroom and when we came to, we were in our neighbor's yard," she said.

Newschannel 9 skycam video taken in the days after the storm shows the rubble the patterson family laid in for hours waiting on first responders.

"What I remember the most is Greg praying while we were laying there in the rain and the girls just being really calm while we were waiting," Patterson said.

A lot has changed since that day, and our last interview with her.

"I'm not in a wheelchair anymore and don't have the halo as you can see," she said.

However, the doctor's appointments continue as Patterson's once broken neck continues to heal.

Her family recently decided to buy a new house just down the road from their old one. She says they were looking for something specific.

"This one has a basement and a storm shelter," Patterson said. "While its sad we aren't coming back to Deerfield, we feel safer now that the girls feel safer."

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