Rebuilding their lives and looking to the future
Tue, 19 Jul 2011 03:32:43 GMT —
A young couple's life changed forever when they went from enjoying their Sunday afternoon to needing rescued in a matter of seconds.
The Joplin tornado has affected thousands of people in Joplin but it's also hit home for a lot of Tri-States residents.
Becca Alves is from the Camp Point area.
She and her husband John lived through the storm. They have a story like many others that Sunday afternoon.
High school graduation had just commenced. Becca works as a photographer and was waiting for some seniors to come over to have their pictures taken.
John was out working on his car in the garage -- they were both enjoying the cooler weather.
But then things started to change...
"The skies turned green, there was a little bit of hail and some wind. Then we heard the tornado sirens," said John Alves.
"I was dilly-dallying to say the least. Finally, we got down to the basement with maybe a minute before the storm hit and the winds we could hear and the glass breaking inside of the house. But, we didn't quite know what the devastation was until later we went up-stairs," said Becca Alves.
The Alves family is among the lucky ones who actually had a basement. But when they walked back up their stairs, they were amazed by what they saw.
"The roof was gone, it was still raining, the wind was still pretty bad and so it was still throwing stuff around everywhere," said John.
"I mean the whole house just looked dirty. Things were moved everywhere. Windows broken out, even window frames broken out. Just gross... It just looked gross.," said Becca.
"We just loaded some stuff up and walked down Main Street and at that point we realized that we were refugees," said John.
The outpour of support not only from Joplin, but from back here in the Tri-States, is what has helped them through this tough time. Some of their friends took them in until they could get back on their feet.
"We found a rental property. Stayed there for a while and have since closed on a house. We are on a road back to normalcy," said Becca.
Well, at least for a few weeks...
"We've got a room full of diapers and clothes and a crib and stuff that needs to be put together so, that's going to be our focus until he comes, and then obviously he's going to be our focus," said John.
Most of the things in Ethan's new room have been donated from people in the Camp Point area and John's home town in Texas.
"We've since been able to give to other people as we see the needs of those people that are hurting and that need things more so than us," said Becca. 5:22 "It's amazing to watch people's hearts open up when they see other people that need help," said Becca.
And they continue to look even further into the future.
"That whole area is going to be brand new. Whether home owners themselves rebuild or they sell their lot a contractor comes in and builds. Seeing Joplin rebuild itself and have a face lift is pretty cool. I look forward to being there and seeing that process," said John.
They were able to salvage some things from their house but because Becca's pregnant, her doctor told them to throw it all away.