Virginia family visits site of leveled home one year after tornado

By  | 

ELON, Va. (WDBJ) — The wind whistles through the trees. It's strong. Just like it was on April 15, 2018.

"It reminds me of that day. It's just a coincidence that winds are blowing today, and on that day winds were blowing," said Wayne Goff.

Shrubbery and debris is all that remains of the Goff family home. Wayne, Jeanette, Haley and Matthew visited the site for the one-year anniversary of the storm that tore their house to pieces.

Wayne, Haley and Matthew were all inside when the tornado came through. Jeanette was at work.

The last words 13-year old Haley remembers hearing are "Get down."

'"There was some bad injuries, but at the same time, to be alive? It's just hard to believe," said Wayne.

"I had no idea where Wayne was, I didn't even know if he was alive," said Haley.

Haley has had surgery and many stitches on her feet. Wayne was wheelchair bound for several months following the tragedy. While they can both walk now, they are still recovering and visiting doctors weekly.

"I mean, what are you supposed to do when you hear that? And then you get here and you pull up and everything's gone, and they're telling you, she's trapped down here, he's trapped here, and you see the power lines and you're like how, how?" questions Jeanette.

It's 365 days later, and there are still so many questions.

The one question the family does know the answer to is how they were saved. They credit God.

"I can say that today is a great day because we're here. It's sad, but we're here," said Wayne.

Habitat for Humanity has greatly helped in the healing process too. They're currently living in a house just a few miles away from their devastated one. The next obstacle is starting construction on a brand new home. A site has been picked out, but crews need to make sure it can provide the family with water.

Construction should begin in the next few weeks to months, depending on that approval.