View photos of the damage from the Gloucester-area tornado on …
Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2011, 6:30 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 23 May 2011, 8:23 PM EDT
BERTIE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) - It's busy at Raymond Cale's property. He's just a week away from moving into a brand new home and he's ready to settle in and get organized.
"We got a place in town we're living in but we never unpack no more than what we need," said Cale.
Raymond was at the hospital with his wife on April 16 when the tornado tore through Bertie County. In seconds, homes were obliterated and his neighbors were killed. For Raymond, the new furniture and shiny appliances have little luster.
"It will be the same spot, but it won't never be like home again. Trees gone, neighbors gone, buildings all around gone," he said.
In the shadow of Raymond's new home is a landscape still filled with bright blue tarps, pieces of debris and need.
"We have hygiene products here, toothpaste, shaving cream," said county Emergency Management Coordinator Rickey Freeman touring a distribution center.
The Windsor center is a massive warehouse of donations. Since opening last week, the supplies have filled the hands of victims.
"I talked to the people who worked here Saturday and they were pretty busy the whole three hours they were here and in fact this morning people were here at nine o'clock when they got here and they were waiting to come pick up items," said Freeman.
Freeman said more than a hundred victims have filed for federal assistance. It has been a slow return to normalcy coupled with an understanding things will never be the same.
"Over this woods here before my house got torn down, I could see the house I got raised in, where I grew up on the farm," said Cale.
A service honoring the victims and recognizing the first responders will be held Tuesday afternoon at Bertie Middle School beginning at 5:30p.m.
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