ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (WTVD) -- One week after the devastating EF-3 tornado that ripped through eastern North Carolina, the cleanup continues for businesses and families.
In places such as Rocky Mount and Dortches, crews continued removing tree limbs and debris in the sweltering heat. One landscaper who said he's been working at multiple sites in the area said it's exhausting.
"Drink plenty of Gatorade and water," said Jodecy Dowdy. "And if you can just get some I.V. packs in, they say. But overall, just say that's the main thing I can really tell anybody is to stay hydrated and get in the shade."
Both the Dortches mayor and Nash County sheriff said the hard work is paying off, and it is a testament to the strong will of the people there.
"Pouring in here, breaking pine cones, pulling limbs, running chainsaws, just helping people out. It's -- that's just been a blessing," said Dortches Mayor Jackie Vick.
Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said the community's spirit has "not been dampened."
"And I can only commend the people of Nash County for the quick response of what they did," Stone said.
Despite the appreciation, there's a wide range of emotions in Nash and Edgecombe counties. There's a huge sense of pride in that resilience -- and the sheer amount of cleanup they're managed so far -- mixed with the understanding that this recovery isn't anywhere close to being done.
Perhaps nobody embodies that range of emotions more than Carolyn Slade, owner of the St. Stephens Loving Daycare Center, just down the street from the Pfizer plant that was badly hit.
"We are emotionally scarred, thankful, grateful ... that we survived the storm and the storm kind of lifted up over our facility; 67 children, 18 employees, so we're thankful," Slade said. "Are we shaken? Yes."
Slade said many of the 67 children who survived the twister are still hurting.
"They just keep repeating the tornado," she said. "Is the trees going to be blown again or the lights going to go out? They're traumatized. As well as some of my staff."
Slade said she's been moved by all the work the community has volunteered to put in on her property, and for the people that supplied tools and food.
"I'm thankful, she said. "I'm just thankful."