Scars remain in Frayser, one year after “Tom Lee Storm”

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It was this time last year when thousands of Memphians were without power after a storm blew through the city, causing damage and leaving many in sweltering heat and darkness. For some in Frayser, the problems never quite ended. The storm was dubbed by many as the "Tom Lee" or "Memorial Day Storm." A year after howling winds and pouring rain, people we talk to remember what they went through. "We didn't have electricity for 11 days," said one resident.
Renee Bland is still having problems in her home. Her roof has a leak after a tree damaged it. "It was terrible, because we really didn't have a place to go that we could be together." She didn't know the problem so bad. But a year later, every time it rains, the water comes in. "We put something down until I can get it renovated. I'm in the process of getting it renovated." Bland is working to come up with the $3,200 to get it fixed. Warren Cole, who lives across the street, remembered what his looked like. "The top was torn off, and the house next door was demolished by a huge tree," he said. The house that once stood next to his is now gone. It was too damaged too rebuild. The work isn't done yet. Cole says there's ongoing efforts in the neighborhood. "We're trying to get the stumps out of these people's yards. The money for the grant ran out so fast that a lot of people weren't able to afford to have them removed," he said. While much is lost, he says there's much to be grateful for. "As we always say, 'God's will is going to be done, but we have to learn to accept and move on."

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