A man we spoke to in Bertie County who lived through the largest tornado outbreak in state history in 2011is watching the devastation in Oklahoma with empathy for those who died and those left to rebuild.
Clarence Freeman lives in Colerain in Bertie County and lost a friend to a tornado in 201. Freeman survived the EF-3 tornado that ripped his community apart April 16, 2011 and killed 12 people in that county alone. He says he had just left his home when the tornado swept away his trailer and wiped out his neighbors homes- killing his friend, 57 year-old Robert Perry. Freeman says it's been 2 years, but he can't help but think what would of happened to him if he stayed inside his trailer.
"I just thank God, at the time, I wasn't here. As I look at what happened when I wasn't here towards my neighbors right and my next door neighbor, Robert Perry , right, me and him were really close and we used to work together," said Freeman.
Freeman says Perry's family rebuilt their home, thanks to FEMA and Samartian's Purse. Freeman says he also received assistance that allowed him to get a newer, bigger trailer. 24 people were killed in the April 16th 2011 tornadoes. There were 30 confirmed tornadoes across the state that day.