COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Six days after an EF-4 tornado hit Cookeville, remnants of homes lie in piles.
“Things have been blown everywhere,” said Jim Rodgers with the Samaritan’s Purse U.S. Disaster Team.
Rodgers and hundreds of volunteers have been out for days, picking through the piles, “for anything that you would consider that you would want, that you would treasure, that you would want back if it was yours,” he said.
He showed News 2 an old glass plate, a cake topper, trophies, and even a kindergarten diploma from 1991.
Sunday, Rodgers and his crew found glass china belonging to Tanya LeClair’s 75-year-old mother, Joy.
“This is at least over one hundred years old I believe, we’re missing the lid, but there’s no chips on it, it’s amazing, absolutely amazing,” LeClair showed News 2.
Joy, her son, and dog were inside the house when the tornado hit.
“The house collapsed on top of her and it took all the firefighters and police to get the wall off on top of her, but she survived it,” said her son-in-law John LeClair, “And 48 hours later they dug one of her dogs out, he was under the pile, and he survived it.”
Joy is recovering with a few broken ribs–her glass is miraculously in better shape.
Two of the treasures are a sugar bowl lasting four generations.
“This is my mom’s grandmothers, so that’s old,” LeClair said.
And a cake stand– untouched.
“And this is my grandmother’s,” she added.
A little reminder, that in all this devastation, there is still hope.
“Oh she is going to flip out, she is going to be so happy to know that this somehow survived,” LeClair said, “Next to her dogs, all of her personal family mementos are the next important thing.”