Months after the tornado, the emotional damage still hurts - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Crosstown, MO

Months after the tornado, the emotional damage still hurts

Wanda Lee Noe Wanda Lee Noe
Crosstown, September 2006 Crosstown, September 2006

Months after the tornado, the emotional damage still hurts
By: Tiffany Sisson

CROSSTOWN, Mo. - It's been nearly 2 months since an tornado ripped up the small community of Crosstown. Homes and even more lives were torn apart, including the life of Wanda Lee Noe. With so many storm victims, Noe's story helped to put a face on this tragedy.

The foundation of Noe's home was nearly wiped clean. It's the place Noe called home for nearly 60 years, but now, it's gone.

The sign that reads Home Sweet Home should describe the elation of moving into a home, yet it lays on the floor, against the wall of Noe's new apartment. "I'm trying to call it home! It was so different because I could go through that home, in the dark in all the rooms. I knew where everything was and I haven't gotten used to the light switches here yet," explained Noe as she chocked back tears.

The insurance wasn't enough to cover everything lost in the tornado, but at 79 Noe thought it pointless to start over. Instead, Noe works hard washing away that painful part of her past. "My binoculars made it. They were muddy. I didn't get all the mud off, but I was so glad that they made it," said Noe.

She's also glad to have saved a basket of shoes, "These Dutch shoes, they came from Holland. My cousin's husband wore those," said Noe. Even a bath chair now has sentimental value, "That was my mothers'. She had Lou Gehrig's disease," said Noe.

Noe now has more pictures of the destruction than memories of her treasured past. A small collection of jewelry gives Noe a feeling of self worth. "I took them for granted before, and now I don't" said Noe.

Noe explained, "Emotions are a funny thing. I have to make myself laugh, you know, find something funny to laugh about because you'd cry"

Noe is a greeter at Wal-Mart. If everything goes according to plan, Noe hopes to return to work and some sense of normalcy by the first of the year.

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