Last of storm debris removed in Cleveland, Tenn.

Last of storm debris removed in Cleveland, Tenn.

July 10th, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

Stephen Lamb, background, follows behind Timothy Skaggs as they lay down tar paper on a roof Friday. Crews worked on rebuilding homes and replacing roofs in the Bates Pointe neighborhood Friday morning.

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Tom Seymour looked out from the front porch of his Bates Pointe home Friday and watched as a builder's crew laid blocks for the foundation of his son's new home.

Theirs was an established community where some families had lived for decades, Seymour said.

"Some of them are coming back, but some say they won't," he said.

The ongoing work is part of the neighborhood's recovery from the April 27 storms.

Debris cleanup crews, funded mostly by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on Thursday cleared away mountains of roadside debris from what once were homes.

Near the Seymours, construction work was taking place Friday.

Several vacant lots, where in April there were houses, can be seen from the Seymours' front porch.

Curt Crisp, a local builder, and his crew are rebuilding Trey Seymour's home.

The younger Seymour grew up in Bates Pointe and is a state trooper like his father, who now is retired.

"Some people have been waiting just to see how the neighborhood would go," he said.

His home collapsed around his family on the night of April 27 when two powerful tornadoes churned through.

Among other developments, on Thursday Bradley County's Long Term Recovery Organization reviewed applications for a storm recovery director. The position, with a $40,000 to $50,000 annual salary to be paid from grants, attracted more than 50 applicants.

The job is expected to last about two years.

"We are in negotiations with somebody now," Matt Ryerson, an organization board member, said Friday. "We feel pretty confident they will meet the needs of this community."

He said he expects the director to be announced this week.

The organization also is seeking a full-time case manager to assist individual victims and families.

Contact Randall Higgins at or 423-314-1029.