CAMP CREEK (WATE) – Tornado victims in Greene County say Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s visit Monday to see their devastation has given them hope.
Previous story: 6 killed in Greene County tornado
Six people died and 94 people were injured when two EF-2 tornadoes and an EF-3 tornado tore through the area last Wednesday.
The governor was accompanied by Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, state Sen. Steve Southerland and other local officials.
“Unfortunately we can’t do anything to save the six lives lost in this county and three on this street alone,” said Gov. Haslam as he walked down Rambo Road looking at the destruction.
Several homes have been flattened. Volunteers have been moving the debris from the houses into piles. Residents have been looking for their things in the rubble.
Linda Thompson was one of the people who lost her home on Rambo Road. She says she’s more upset about losing two close friends, the couple who lived in the house next door.
Gov. Haslam spent some time with Thompson discussing her concerns. “I told him I felt bad about my neighbors. He said it was a tragedy. That’s what he said,” said Thompson.
She says she won’t forget the talk they had.
And the governor clearly won’t forget the images he’s seen around the state. “You can never get used to the fact that what was once a home has been demolished and lives have been lost,” Haslam said.
Rebuilding has already begun with volunteers and utility crews hard at work. The governor reassured the crowd that help was available. The FEMA administrator also explained steps on how to get help.
Many in Greene County say the visit helped them feel like they were not a forgotten rural area.
More assessment teams are expected to visit the area. They say the most important next step is to have victims file their damage claims with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or going to the FEMA website.