Rebuilding continues in Bessemer for homes, park hit by tornado

Rebuilding efforts continue in Bessemer three months after a tornado hit central Alabama.Volunteers are now fixing houses that were destroyed to help families return home."There's something about having a home, having somewhere to live in," said Audrey Banks. {}"The security that goes with it, all of that will be restored."Two trees fell on Banks home during the April 28th tornado."It looked like a great big old brick from heaven fell in and crashed everything down," she recalled.She lived in the house on Second Avenue with her grandson. But after the storm, they had to leave. "In the back bedroom, my grandson's back bedroom was destroyed," described Banks. "The back bathroom was destroyed back there. And, it moved on up. It affected the kitchen. It affected the other rooms of the house."Banks did not have insurance, but she got a little help from FEMA.Now, thanks to the kindness of some good Samaritans, her house is coming back to life. "It was a network of people- city government, local organizations like church of the brook hills, Christian service ministry donated the windows, church of the brook hill donated funds for the siding," explained Herman Henderson with BTC Missions.Henderson is gathering donations to rebuild eight homes in Bessemer. "I feel great!" exclaimed Banks. "I feel blessed. The Lord has blessed me.""We had to put the rooms back up," said Henderson. "We totally wired it. We're putting the siding on now so we just letting people know that this young mother will probably be able to go into her house that's been totally redid."Rebuilding the community extends beyond the houses hit.Carver Park was also destroyed."This is the heart of the community and we want the community to know that your city leaders are working on this park," said City Councilman David Vance.Vance says a new fence for the park is already out for bid. The running track should be repaved by the end of the week. Last Friday, bids went out to put new roofs on the bathroom and concession stand."We have kids sitting over there on the steps, they have nowhere to go," said Vance. "If we don't do anything to the park, they're still going to go out there and play in the conditions that it's in. It's not a good condition to be out there playing now."FEMA will help pay for the repairs at Carver Park.