Mossy Grove homeowner reflects on deadly 2002 tornado

Mossy Grove homeowner reflects on deadly 2002 tornado

Posted:
An EF-3 tornado hit Mossy Grove, killing seven people and injuring 28 others. An EF-3 tornado hit Mossy Grove, killing seven people and injuring 28 others.
Though the tornado only touched down for about eight seconds, it still caused significant damage in the city. Though the tornado only touched down for about eight seconds, it still caused significant damage in the city.
"There's a lot of memories and things we lost. We didn't lose the memories, but a lot of things we lost that built memories for us," said Mossy Grove resident Bobby Hester. "There's a lot of memories and things we lost. We didn't lose the memories, but a lot of things we lost that built memories for us," said Mossy Grove resident Bobby Hester.
Mossy Grove ten years after the tornado struck. Mossy Grove ten years after the tornado struck.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

MOSSY GROVE (WATE) - Saturday will mark the tenth anniversary of a day many in
Morgan County will never forget.

An EF-3 tornado hit Mossy Grove, killing seven people and injuring 28 others.

Bobby Hester and his family were at church when the tornado hit back in 2002. Their house was a total loss.

"We got a new home. It's about 10 years old almost now, and in that aspect it's a blessing. But outside of that, there's a lot of memories and things we lost. We didn't lose the memories, but a lot of things we lost that built memories for us," said Bobby Hester.

He said the items they recovered from the debris now fits in a single box.

"As a family, we've grown closer and in my daughter's bedroom, she had Barbies and things like that and after the tornado came through, there was one little doll sitting on the ground, because our whole home was gone," added Hester.

The Hesters were one of the many families who rebuilt in Mossy Grove after the storm 10 years ago. But they're one of the only families still living there.

"Different ones have moved off, sold their places. Some have moved to Harriman, some, other places. I think we have right now, immediate neighbors, maybe five or six that are still sticking around that were actually affected by the tornado," Hester explained.

Morgan County officials have looked at installing sirens since then, but said because of the terrain, they would not be very effective.

"It brought to us the stark reality that anything could hit us weather-wise as far as Mother Nature and the things that could happen that nobody has any control over, because Morgan County, up to that point had been pretty much immune to that type of occurrence," said Morgan County Executive Don Edwards.

Hester is still stunned by quickly things happened.

"How much devastation it caused, just in a matter of, my understanding was it was just on the ground around eight seconds. It just destroyed everything in it's path," he said.

Morgan County is incorporating a memorial for victims and their families into Friday's Veterans' Day event.

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