In the place where once was destruction from deadly tornadoes that ripped through the area, the promise of new life is taking hold.
Last week, Walker County COAD planted trees in the three communities that were in track of the April 27, 2011 tornadoes to recognize the one-year anniversary. Trees were planted in the Hinkle community on Lookout Mountain, on the Ronnie Holden State Farm in Chattanooga Valley-Flintstone and at the Rossville recreation fields.
"The trees will be a permanent piece of each community that will grow with the community in the process of the recovery time," said Curtis Creekmur, Walker County COAD chairperson. "Hopefully it will represent a sign of new beginning."
When three series of storms hit Walker County last April, 500 homes in the community were affected by the EF3 tornado that touched down. Walker County COAD, which is dedicated to helping victims of those storms rebuild, started with 62 cases and has helped more than 25 of those families.
"When insurance and FEMA move out we try to meet the needs of individuals that often fall through the cracks," Creekmur said.
The organization is working on growing its committee and is in need of more members, he said.
"It takes everyone in the community to respond to the ongoing recovery needs of those affected by the severe storms and tornadoes," said Creekmur, adding that there are "hundreds of ways to volunteer." "We need key functionality people. Any skills set a person has to bring can be utilized in this group."
Members can become a part of Walker County COAD without coming to every meeting, he said.
"It's important for the organization to grow because we can get more accomplished with a lot of helpings hands instead of just a few," Creekmur said.
Those interested in joining Walker County COAD can call 706-375-COAD (2623) , visit Walker County COAD's Facebook page or email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.