by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
TULLAHOMA, Tenn. - Debris from this week's tornadoes landed all across Middle Tennessee. Coffee County leaders asked that more precious items be brought to the Tullahoma Events Center.
“I think from here to where the tornado hit was probably about 40 miles by road,” owner Patricia Lee said. “(Residents) have found a lot of insulation (and) pieces of wood. In my own yard I found a piece of bamboo that looked like it had come off a piece of furniture.”
For some people, more valuable mementoes appeared.
“My husband found it in the yard,” Shelbyville resident Rachel Anderson said while holding a picture. “It's a beautiful scene with a child in an antique, looks like a washtub. Just a beautiful setting, a beautiful child. So we just assumed somebody would want that back.”
Saturday, residents were asked to bring the keepsakes to the Tullahoma Events Center.
“From Tullahoma residents we've had two checks,” Lee explained. “One of them is originally from Athens, Alabama.”
Someone in McMinville found a picture, torn in a way that still showcased a little girl’s smile. A class picture landed at a home in Rock Island, almost intact, showing the 2009-2010 4th grade class at South Lincoln Elementary School. The school is almost completely destroyed.
“Things fly and I guess they get so sucked up into the air it takes them a long time to come down,” Lee said.
Every item has an unknown story. Lee wants to make sure each one is returned to its rightful owner.
Items brought in and information shared online will be used to map where the debris landed. It will help the National Weather Service better understand the power and force of the deadly tornadoes.