After the February 5th, 2008 tornado, the folks in Macon County tumbled along uneasily, trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and put them back together.
For many, such as Phil and June Spears, it’s taken several long months to finally put down permanent roots once again, and on Thursday, May 4th, Channel 5 News decided to catch up with the family and visited the couple in their new home.
“I guess this is June’s dream house,” Phil told the Channel 5 News reporter. “We always thought we’d build a house someday, but didn’t expect to build it like this.”
Phil Spears, who works for the Wilson County Emergency Management Service, as a Captain, was helping others deal with the tornadoes that came through in early 2008, when he returned home that night to a pile of rubble.
The couple, who had lived at 65 Williams Road for almost 25 years, spent the next 12 months in a FEMA trailer and then were shuttled back and forth from one family member to another until their home was finished.
“It’s been a long hard year for us,” Phil told the reporter as June led the camera crew through a tour of their new home at 4490 Akersville Road.
In building the house, the priority for the Spears was not in what the house looked like, but what was deep inside. “Our home has a safe room,” June said, facing the cameras, “which was our main concern, because I knew we would never feel safe again, if we didn’t have this extra protection.”
“If we’re at home or close to home when severe weather heads this way, this is the room we will be in,” Phil said.
If you may recall, just days after the tornado President Bush met with the Spears in the Akersville Road/Williams
Road area, and it was their first glimmer of hope after the tragedy.
And believe it or not, the Spears endured another round of bad luck only days after they moved in, when the retention wall in their basement collapsed, crashing down on their two vehicles causing over $4,000 worth of damage.
But after dealing with everything they have been through, the couple just laughed it off, thankful they weren’t in the basement or in their cars at the time.
“I guess we were blessed once again,” said June, “as we’d only been in the house for 15 minutes when the concrete and brick wall came crashing down.”
“But at this point, when all is said and done, with God in our corner we’re ready for whatever life throws our way.”