5 years after devastating tornado, Piedmont Triad community continues to rebuild

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Seasons change, but for Jamie Rummage that feeling never goes away.

"Every time it gets warm this time of year I just feel a little hitch in my chest,” she said.

“It's almost like you're in a movie. Even now it feels like a movie to me,” she would later say.

Nov. 16, 2011, in a matter of minutes, a tornado ripped through central Davidson and western Randolph counties, destroying dozens of homes.

"I was holding on to that faucet because I was afraid we were going to get sucked up,” Rummage said, as she stood in her once destroyed home back in 2011.

In just 20 seconds, the tornado ripped through the home and hearts of her and her family.

“Just coming over here and seeing things that have been here for 20 years. We built that house 20 years before that and all my things were gone. I know people say well they are just things, but they were my things. Those were things that made up my life. Pictures on the wall,” she said.

It’s estimated that there was between $15 and $20 million in damage. Several businesses were also damaged.

“This is the bathroom. This is the bathroom where we hid,” Rummage said, as she walked through the house.

Six months after the tornado, she and her husband rebuilt on the same land.

"My husband said that night, he said this ground has been good to us for 20 years. He says there is no doubt in my mind that we will rebuild,” she said. “But you just have to have faith that everything is going to work out fine and it is going to be better.”

Although not a direct result of this tornado, Randolph County does have a new system called REACT or Randolph Emergency Alert Communication Technology that people can sign up for and get phone calls in case of bad weather.

Davidson County Emergency Management say they are also exploring ways to improve its alert system.