One of many empty lots near the Meals' home. Many families chose not to return to Tanner.
TANNER, AL (WSFA) -
One of the hardest hit areas of Alabama was in the north part of the state near Huntsville.
It was the second time the small community of Tanner has suffered through a devastating tornado--another one hit their neighborhood in the seventies.
And while many families are too afraid to rebuild yet again, one says they can't help but stay.
Things may seem a lot different for Lamar and Velvet Meals--one year after a tornado ripped their house and farm to shreds.
"When we drove up the first time I looked out and saw everything tore up and knew we'd been working for years to get it to that point," says Lamar.
But really, they're just back to normal.
"We were able to start our rebuild three weeks after the tornado," says Velvet.
Thanks to help from family, friends, and unfamiliar faces, their house was re-built that much faster...unlike some of their neighbors'.
"There were a few people that were hit in '74 and this was their second time. I didn't know if they would come back or not. That's two hard licks in their life," says Lamar.
Many families that used to live in the Tanner community chose not to rebuild there, leaving empty lots in places where homes once stood.
"It's really depressing at times. I know when I was working on my fence and I was down here some days by myself it was very depressing just to look out across the area and see everything just destroyed like it was," adds Lamar.
The Meals admit, the stretch of land near their home is prone to vicious storms.
If another struck their house?
"I just don't think that at our age that we could go through this again," says Lamar.
For now though, they're staying put.
"We're just gonna take our chances," adds Velvet.
Knowing tornadoes or not, there's no where else they'd rather be.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:01 AM EDT2013-05-21 06:01:07 GMT
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