Nash County tornado victims reflect on Thanksgiving as recovery efforts continue: 'We're thankful'

Akilah Davis Image
Friday, November 24, 2023
'We're thankful': Nash Co. tornado victims reflect on Thanksgiving
Tornado victims in Nash County reflect on a difficult year, marked by life-changing storm damage.

DORTCHES, N.C. (WTVD) -- Just a few months ago Barry Rehm's street in Dortches looked like a warzone. It was a terrifying experience for his wife, Chris, who was home alone when an EF-3 tornado tore through their community.

"I don't think she got a fair warning. She saw the top of the tree come flying by the top of a window," said Rehm. "Almost every tree in our yard we loss, and we had some shingle damage."

The tornado took down 16 trees and downed power lines in his front yard. It's damage he called minimal compared to his neighbors.

Neighbors told ABC11 that when they got home Wednesday night, their Nash County community looked like a war zone.

"I think I speak on behalf of everybody on this street: we're thankful," he said. "We're just within a rock's throw of three houses that were a total loss. That's pretty devastating."

In July that tornado touched down and within minutes destroyed homes, knocked out power and changed lives.

The Pfizer plant sustained major damage which caused the largest employer in Nash County to shut down for weeks.

On Thanksgiving, ABC11 flew Drone11 over Dortches and it was evident that there are still many recovering from the storm. Some victims told ABC11 they don't expect to move back into their homes until next year.

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Nonetheless, this Thanksgiving that community still has plenty to be thankful for.

"Nobody hurt. No major damage. Still grateful of that," said Rehm.