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Kingsport recovers after a tornado touches down

By Callan Gray, cgray@wcyb.com
Published On: Jul 27 2014 10:38:05 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 27 2014 10:15:00 PM CDT

Dozens of families are picking up the pieces after tornadoes touched down in our area.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

Dozens of families are picking up the pieces after tornadoes touched down in our area.

Some of the most severe damage occurred in Kingsport where a home was torn in half and another knocked off its foundation.

"I have nothing, no home to live in but it will be okay," said Leslie Kendrick, whose home was destroyed in the storm. "I don't know where I'll go from here but it'll be okay."

Only half of Kendrick's home on Rock Springs Road is still standing after a tornado tore through it.

"I don't even want to turn around and look at it," said Kendrick. "I don't even want to go back in and get my clothes."

Kendrick's relatives gathered to support her, including the owner of the house, James Barrett. He told us it's a blessing no one was home when the tornado hit.

"The Lord was looking after the kids," he said. "They weren't here."

Debris from the home was caught in power lines. The Kingsport Police Department closed the road for at least an hour while power crews worked on the power lines.

The destruction continued on nearby Cox Hollow Road, which was completely blocked off by downed trees and power lines.

"You could literally hear all of the trees breaking, snapping," said resident Matthew Pate. "You could just hear the fierce wind smacking against the house, all of the debris hitting the house."

Pate showed us how the storm knocked his home right off its foundation. It also tore off siding and knocked over his, and his neighbor's, barns.

Pate's backyard was completely destroyed.

"It's just devastating," said Rachel Barnes, Pate's girlfriend. "It's absolutely horrifying to even see all of this."    

They told us it will take months to rebuild.

We also drove through Wise County, Big Stone Gap and Gate City. We saw little to no damage there.