STORIES

Six months after the April tornadoes, more than $31 million in federal funds has been funneled to 10 of the hardest-hit counties in the tri-state area through Oct. 11 to help cover uninsured storm losses, according the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

As the word "tornado" started showing up more and more in weather forecasts on April 26, Hamilton County officials were ramping up the Emergency Operations Center.

More than 300 varieties of maples, dogwoods and redbuds soon will take root in the tornado-ravaged Ringgold, Ga., area.

The shaky cell phone videos of the swirling black masses that devastated Ringgold, Ga., and parts of Apison on April 27 tell only part of the story.

Some weather forecasters have suggested Tornado Alley, a swath through the Great Plains and Midwest that has seemed most prone to tornadoes, has shifted eastward to bring the killer tornadoes seen in the Chattanooga region this year.

In one day, their lives changed forever. Dozens of tornadoes ripped across the tri-state area on April 27, paralyzing and dazing the entire region.

An empty lot in Ringgold was filled Saturday with 31 pallets stacked five feet high of shampoos, candy, Clif bars, blankets and seemingly random household goods.

Eight pounds of hope. It doesn’t seem like much when measured against 200-mph winds that ravaged the South, smashing buildings to shards and claiming more than 300 lives.

For Chattanooga hospitals, April 27 was game seven of the World Series, bottom of the ninth inning, tied up.

As Debbie Wise sipped coffee on her front porch high above Ringgold, Ga., on White Oak Mountain, voices began to fill the valley.


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