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Hampton tornado a scary flashback for Gloucester victims

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Jun 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-05 23:26:55-04

A little over a year ago, Tiffany Healy was dealing with extensive damage to her home after an EF-3 tornado tore through Gloucester.

“The whole front of the house was torn up,” said Healy.

Now, it's a completely different picture.

“Back to normal as much as it can be, yes, we're very glad to be back home,” Healy said.

It took her family about six or seven months to get back in; they stayed at a rental home until the repair work was finished.

Many of the other homes on Shelly Rd have also been rebuilt or repaired, but up until a few weeks ago, there was still one house that had remained untouched.

The house, where a man was killed in the tornado, was left on the property because of a pending lawsuit - a constant reminder to neighbors of what they had to deal with last year.

“It was awful because every time you walked out the front door, it would be there, you'd have to look at it, and it just kept deteriorating with the weather,” said Healy.

Neighbors say they're thankful it's finally been removed.  Now, with a few exceptions where work is still being finished,  most of the work to people's homes has been completed.

Along the hard hit Hickory Fork Rd, it's the same story.  Most homeowners have finished their repairs, but there are still a few houses that remain in the same state of disrepair that they were in after the tornado.  Neighbors say they're not sure when anything will be done about them.

But although things look like they're back to normal, one thing that has forever changed is how some say they react to storms.  For Healy, last Friday's tornado in Hampton was a scary flashback.

“I was thankful it didn't come through here, and at the same time I knew what they were going through,” Healy said, “I felt sorry for them having to go through it, it hit really close to home.”

"Friday when the storm got really bad, you're on edge, you don't know what to expect," said Barbara Lesson, another victim of the Gloucester tornado, "I don't like when storms come up because I was here by myself when the tornado hit last year."

"It's just like going back," Lesson said, "The people in Hampton that got hit, I feel sorry for them, I know what they're going through and I don't wish that on anybody."