REBUILDING WETUMPKA: Sunday Marks One Year Anniversary of EF-2 Tornado
This weekend marks the one year anniversary since an EF-2 tornado damaged homes, businesses and churches in Wetumpka.
Today, you can still reminders of that January 2019 day.
“It was very very scary. I actually came out on the front porch here when I heard the sirens and stuff going off. And the wind started picking up very bad, so we all huddled back in the bathroom,” business owner Tim Winkle said.
Thankfully no lives were lost during the storms. But today, residents are still in recovery.
“Trees fell and it knocked back windows out of the house, and blowed tin of the top of the house,” resident Charles Emfinger said. “We still go a lot of work to do.”
First Presbyterian Wetumpka was among the most heavily damaged buildings. After a major cleanup, the church is being rebuilt at the same location.
“We’re actively getting the building framed up. The sanctuary is the last part that needs to be decked, and that should be dried in by the end of this month,” Pastor Jonathan Yarboro said.
Yarboro says he’s expecting the church to be moved in to the new sanctuary in August 2020.
“Since that moment, the richness of blessing has been incredible,” Yarboro said.
Residents say the recovery has been a slow process, but the city is making progress.
“It seems like yesterday, in a way. And you can still cross the bridge and see a lot of places that need to be rebuilt or people working on things. People are still struggling over there,” Hinkle said.
There will be a praise service at First Baptist Church Wetumpka on Sunday, to reflect on the one year anniversary. The time for that service is 11:45 A.M, and the community is encouraged to attend.