Tornado Survivors "One year Later" - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Centralia, IL

Tornado Survivors "One year Later"

 

 

 

Tornado Survivors "One year Later"
By: Arnold Wyrick

(Centralia, IL)--One year ago today, on May 9th 2002, folks in Centralia were pulling themselves from the rubble of their homes.

The F-1 tornado was only on the ground for a few seconds, but it left behind two people dead and an entire neighborhood destroyed.

39 year old George Vaughn and his sister-in-law 36 year old Pam Vaughn didn't survive the deadly twister. One year later Paula Olena feels lucky to have survived, she was at her mothers when the twister struck. "Because at 2:30 in the morning I would've stood up and looked out my window, and either I would've flew through the window. Or my heart would've been shocked. I would've been a mess," says Olena.

But as she looks around at what's left of her neighborhood, it saddens her. "Well it's empty. I'm thinking watch out for storms, because if you value, if you care about life at all leave when you need too," Olena said. " I'm glad for the people that did move, they're still alive. It's the idea that people died that I'm upset about. And the tragedies that happened to people," says Olena.

Now she's hoping that someday she'll hear the sound of laughing children again, and enjoy an afternoon visiting with her neighbors, once the area rebuilds and families move back in. "I do feel bad about the ones who were taken by the storm. But you can't go all your life feeling bad. People just need to realize that this is reality, you've got to go on," said Olena.

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