APPOMATTOX COUNTY, Va. -- One year ago every structure on Michael Jarrell's Appomattox County property was flattened by a massive tornado; everything except an old train ticket booth from the 1940s.
"It's amazing to see the house, garage, everything gone but this little building,” Jarrell said.
The EF-3 tornado passed within about 100 yards of his home.
This is just one of 202 homes in Appomattox County that were destroyed.
County officials said the twister did $11 million worth of damage, and 78-year-old Keith Harris was the one fatality.
"My home just exploded with my husband inside,” said Nancy Harris, Keith’s widow.
She said her husband was home alone when the tornado struck, something that still haunts her.
"A lot of times I’ll wake up at night thinking about it,” she said. “Had I been 15 minutes earlier I would have been in the home.”
She was driving down Route 460 when 100 mile per winds blew a massive tree on top of her car. Harris was so badly injured that she spent months in the hospital.
“I don't know, it's just unreal to think these things happen so quick."
Jarrell pointed out where the tornado swept through.
“You can actually see where the tornado took a path right down through there,” he said.
For Jarrell, the loss of family things he valued was devastating.
“A lot of things that you're family have left from folks that passed away,” he said. “Stuff that you hold to your heart; it's just gone.”
One year later, much of Evergreen community is still under construction.
Faith groups are helping both Jarrell and Harris rebuild, helping “the big E” – as they call it – get back to normal.
"People have been so good to me,” Harris said.
A wooden cross stands by itself behind her new home; it's where her husband was found.
She said her husband was a godly man and that if he were here now he'd be proud of how his community has come together around tragedy.
"It's love. It's a brotherly love, I guess is what you would call it,” Harris said.