Seven months after tornado, Gloucester resident moves into new home

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Nov 22, 2011 - 05:40 PM

Photo: With her strong faith, encouragement from family, and help from the Gloucester Citizen Assistance Committee, Clopton resident Alice Marie Berry Harris is in a new home after hers was destroyed by the April 16 tornado. Above, from left, are Harris’s youngest daughter, Consuelo Harris; Ms. Harris; her brother, Robert Berry, and Alysia Alister, chair of the Gloucester Citizen Assistance Committee. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

With her strong faith, encouragement from family, and help from the Gloucester Citizen Assistance Committee, Clopton resident Alice Marie Berry Harris is in a new home after hers was destroyed by the April 16 tornado. Above, from left, are Harris’s youngest daughter, Consuelo Harris; Ms. Harris; her brother, Robert Berry, and Alysia Alister, chair of the Gloucester Citizen Assistance Committee. Photo by Quinton Sheppard.

It’s been seven months since disaster struck Gloucester, leaving a path of destruction stretching for miles and bringing a community together during a time it will never forget. Since April 16, 2011, the fateful day that a devastating tornado cut a path straight through Gloucester County, many are still not in their homes.

However, one Clopton resident, Alice Marie Berry Harris, has defied the odds and moved into a brand-new home, just days before she celebrated her 66th birthday. She owes her success to her strong faith, the help and support of family and the community, and especially Gloucester’s Citizen Assistance Committee.

Harris said she was out of town visiting with family in South Carolina when a call came that her house on Hickory Fork Road in Gloucester had been destroyed by a tornado.

The next day, she was en route back to the county to see for herself what the storm had left behind. When she arrived, she was shocked to see the tornado had basically lifted her home off its foundation, spun it around and had thrown pieces of it into nearby trees.

"For someone who has never experienced it, it is emotional trauma," Harris said. "It’s not good." Without her strong faith in God, she said she would have never made it.