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Residents pushing through aftermath of Tennessee tornadoes: ‘You can’t make sense out of it’

PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. — Following deadly tornadoes, recovery efforts in Putnam County, Tennessee continue in rainy, muddy weather.

The destruction is still very real and raw for many people, but, through tears, they said helping out is just what neighbors do. The eerie scene of what’s left in parts of Putnam County has taken a toll and then some on the community.

Danny Holmes

“Funerals have been going on, peoples been attending them,” said Danny Holmes, police chief of the town of Baxter in Putnam County. “Children, that’s the one that just really hits home.”

Holmes said the images of the neighborhood will forever be etched in his and his fellow first responders’ minds.

“You got to be a human being to understand loss of life. I’ve seen a lot of things in my law enforcement career, but never have I seen devastation like this.”

Kathy and Charles Hoard

Through the pain and tears, neighbors like Kathy and Charles Hoard keep showing up to help.

“You can’t make sense out of it. It’s just heartbreaking, and knowing that people lost their lives,” Charles said.

“It’s almost like survivors guilty, you know, but we just moved here a week ago,” said Kathy. “Our address is 316, and anybody who knows the bible, that’s for God so loved the world.”

Even though the Hoards are brand new to the area, they’re spreading that message along with hundreds of tools, rakes and shovels from their company, Ames.

“It’s the greatest commandment for all, is love thy neighbor, so we knew we had to do something,” said Charles.

Love the neighbors they never got the chance to know so fully hurts. And while a majority of people act the right way, the sheriff’s department said they have arrested two people for trespassing. One of those people was trying to steal copper from one of the damaged homes.

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