Tornado cleanup going strong in Granville County

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A week later, residents are still picking up the pieces in Granville County.

One week after an EF2 tornado touched down in Granville County, piles of rubble remain as residents in the Huntsboro community try to rebuild.

Rick McWilliams' home was one of the hardest hit by the storm.

Much of the retired, disabled Marine's belongings are still scattered on the lawn.

He has spent countless hours combing through the debris trying to salvage the memories he has spent a lifetime creating.

"We're helping him basically sort through stuff one item at a time," volunteer Ben Currin said.

Currin, a fellow veteran, has been helping McWilliams with the cleanup every day since the tornado touched down last Wednesday.

RELATED: Granville County residents recount tornado terror

"I look back at my life after I was in the military, and I got out, and people did things for me. It's time for me to return the favor, especially when you run across a situation like that. There's no way I couldn't be here," he said.

Currin's crew spent Thursday sorting items into piles for an insurance agent to take inventory.

"It's a relief in some ways because I came home, and look at all this," McWilliams said. "They're great people."

Next door, crews worked around the clock to cut down mangled trees free-of-charge.

"It means a lot because one day I might be in need of something, and somebody might volunteer to help me with something. That's the way I look at it," James Wood said. "You never know what life holds this day and time."

Earlier this week, more than 100 volunteers from Flat Rock Baptist Association arrived to help residents clean up.

A constant stream of donations continues to pour in from strangers as they drive by to get a look at the damage.

"I came to the road and she said hold your hand out," Pam West said of one motorist. "She said 'close your hand and don't open it until I'm gone.' I have no idea who she was. It was $40."

Neighbors are taking care of each other as residents begin to put their lives back together, bringing an already tight-knit community even closer together.

"It renews your faith in your fellow man," West said. "To me, to be honest, that is bigger than the tornado."

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