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Neighbors lean on each other weeks after tornado ripped through their community

It's been three weeks since an EF-2 tornado touched down in Kathleen.

KATHLEEN, Fla. — Neighbors in Kathleen are finally stocking up their pantries weeks after a tornado changed their lives.

"We got hit by the tornado and I was without power for about 14 hours. I lost all my food," Redonna Cook said. 

She said things have been rough but is thankful for Mt. Tabor Church's support. The community's church has been closed after the tornado touched down, but they're working to get their doors back open. 

"This is a tough community. We went through Irma. Irma was a pretty direct hit on us as well. We lost our steeple and had some roof damage. Here we are again a tornado hit our community. To me, this time was even more tight-knit," Pastor Matt Gilmore said.

Three weeks have gone by and the neighborhood is still trying to heal. 

"It was devastating. It really was. It was devastating because it was like well, how are you going to feed your family now? I've cried a lot and prayed. That's all we can do is pray," Donna Caldwell said.

Streets over from Mt. Tabor Church, Timberlake Road still shows remnants of the EF-2 tornado. 

"There was a big tree down in the yard and there was debris everywhere. We've worked pretty hard to clean it all up," Christi Boyer said.

Boyer is one of the lucky ones who managed to stay in her home despite the damage.

"It's hard you know. I work all day and come home and we still have more work to do here, but I'm just taking on what I can each day," Boyer said.

Her neighborhood is nowhere near the same, but Timberlake Road has come a long way.

"There are things I miss like how beautiful it was on this street. The big giant oak trees with the Spanish moss. I hope that those whose houses were damaged worse than mine are able to come back and rebuild and get back some sense of normal life," Boyer said.

RELATED: Polk County food bank damaged by tornado reopens

RELATED: Church destroyed by tornado trying to get food bank up and running

RELATED: The cost of a tornado: Families in Kathleen are just starting to pick up the pieces

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