One year later FOX Carolina employee reflects on Simpsonville To - FOX Carolina 21

One year later FOX Carolina employee reflects on Simpsonville Tornado, talks recovery process

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FOX Carolina employee reflects on damage left behind by Simpsonville 2016 tornado (Source: Alex Abbott). FOX Carolina employee reflects on damage left behind by Simpsonville 2016 tornado (Source: Alex Abbott).
SIMPSONVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The sun shined brightly on Thursday, November 30, 2017, the complete opposite of what this day looked liked one year earlier when a tornado roared through Simpsonville downing trees, snapping power lines and tearing up homes.

One of those homes belonged to FOX Carolina employee, Alex Abbott.

"I pull up in the driveway and it just looks like a war zone. My chimney had completely come off and come down in my backyard on top of all of our belongings out there," said Abbott.

Abbott was at work during the storm when she got a phone call from her mother who suspected a tornado was on the way. 

"I just keep telling her 'you have to get in the bathroom, you have to close the door, please get in the bathroom'," said Abbott, recalling that conversation. 

Her mother made it through okay but her home like many off Georgia Road in Simpsonville took a beating.

In addition to taking down her chimney, the storm ripped up Abbott's fence, yanked siding and shingles off her roof and blew windows out.

"We had PVC pipes going through windows. Had my mom been upstairs at the time I'm not sure what would have happened to her because her entire window came in so it was incredibly scary," said Abbott.

Abbott said in addition to navigating through her first big homeowner issue, she learned a few other lessons from this storm.

The first was preparation. 

"We didn't have a tornado kit ready... A week after the tornado hit I went out and I bought batteries and flashlights to keep ready to go in a moment's notice because we had nothing we were so ill prepared for this storm," said Abbott.

She also said although a terrible time for her family and neighborhood, it really brought out the best in her community. 

"The most heartwarming part was even though it was 9 o'clock, we had neighbors coming down the street with candles and flashlights, pizza, they had ordered pizza for us and they were coming by to see if we needed a place to stay that night... It really brought out the best in our neighborhood," said Abbott.

Abbott said it took more than 7 months to get her home back in shape, but there is still some work that needs to be done.

Officials said homes in subdivisions off Georgia Road took the hardest hit, but driving around one year later, you wouldn't even know it.  

FOX Carolina reached out to Greenville County Emergency Management Thursday, who said as far as they know, much of the homes that were damaged are already repaired.

 Copyright 2017 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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