Family reluctantly moves from tornado ravaged neighborhood

Published: Apr. 27, 2012 at 6:16 PM CDT|Updated: May. 7, 2012 at 6:16 PM CDT
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Darlyn Johnson searches her old property for personal items left behind by a tornado
Darlyn Johnson searches her old property for personal items left behind by a tornado

ARAB, AL (WSFA) - Darlyn Johnson claims the site of her old house isn't home anymore.  But she can't seem to stay away.

"I'm always looking for something."

Her house used to sit on what is now an empty piece of land after a tornado ripped through the Arab community--killing five people and destroying many homes.

"Lots of people's stuff was piled right next to their house or right close by. Our stuff was gone. There was nothing," says Johnson.

Johnson and her family lived there for eight years, but nearly every sentimental item or memento is gone.

"It's difficult to be here."

Every time Darlyn visits the site she finds small remnants of her home like a little drum that belonged to a Christmas ornament, for instance.  She says it's the main reason she couldn't rebuild there.

"When I come out here and stand on the property, I always want to look. If I was here I would be outside everyday trying to sift through every grain of sand."

For Johnson, the only thing to do was find a new home away from the area that reminds her of that frightening day.

She and her family bought a house across town.

"We love it here...it's become home."

She admits it's nothing like her old one. But, it's a new start, that's just as good.

Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.