One week after several tornadoes touched down here in Eastern Carolina, people are still cleaning up, and they have a long, long way to go. But the people we with talked on Whichards Beach Road in Chocowinity told us about how fortunate they are to be alive and how grateful they are of so many volunteers who have come to help.
Shirley Edwards says she was coming back from a trip when the tornado struck her house. She says, "I knew I was ahead of the game because I had a suitcase with me. I had some clean clothes to put on, I had a toothbrush I could use, and most people don't get that opportunity.
Her daughter lives next door. Fortunately, they weren't home either when the storm came through. Edwards says, "If they had been home and on their regular routine, my daughter and son-in-law would've been in the bed with a tree on them, and would've been killed."
Cleaning up has been a long and tedious effort. But Ron Hermany, who lost his home, says volunteers have come in bunches. Hermany says, "There's been a lot of them, and they just don't even leave their name, just come in, start working, and help out."
He says it's generosity you can't truly appreciate until you've gone through a life-changing tragedy.
Hermany says, "North Carolina should be proud of its people. They really should be. There's a lot of good people here."
Edwards says she feels blessed because she still has her family,