Community bands together after tornado

Riverview, Florida -- Fences were ripped to shreds, windows blown out. Now one Riverview community is banding together after a tornado touched down, transforming quiet streets into havens for debris.

It's a community bruised, but not broken.

"(The tornado) was terrifying. I don't even know how else to explain it," said Colonial Estates resident Julie Dickinson. "(I'm) extremely thankful and blessed that the kids, and all the animals, we were all okay and no one got hurt."

Still, her and her fiance, Anthony, have a lot of work to do.

But volunteers like Sue Ernest are already making a difference.

"Obviously a lot of fences went down, and there's a lot of nails in these fences," Ernest said as she picked up fence nails with a magnet in Dickinson's yard. "It was my duty to help the neighbors because I know that they would help me if I needed them."

Take a walk through Colonial Estates and it won't take you long to find piles of debris. People who live there say they've never seen anything like it, but they're ready to move forward together.

"You had people coming out and checking on each other's pets making sure our neighbors are fine and getting out and helping," said neighbor Linda Charbeneau.

Richard Long doesn't even live in the neighborhood, and he volunteered his time on Saturday to rebuild a home that was hit by a boat when the tornado touched down.

"I couldn't believe it. Because I only live about five miles up the road," Long said. "I don't even know the guy (I'm helping). I never met him 'til I walked up here. But like I said, everybody needs help now and then."

It's a rule this Riverview community is now living by after facing down the storm.

If disaster ever strike by you, here's a list of places you can go to report damage and get help.

Hillsborough County

Pinellas County

Hernando County

Manatee County

Polk County

Pasco County

Citrus County


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