Lutts, Tenn. residents continue cleanup after EF3 ripped through their community

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LUTTS, Tenn. - Two weeks after a tornado swept through a small southern Tennessee community, residents are still picking up the pieces of their lives.

On Thursday, plumes of gray smoke filled the air in the community of Lutts in Wayne County.

Debris is scattered across the hillside and in the fields. Days have been filled by residents and volunteers cleaning up.

“Christmas was the same as New Year's and all the days in between,” resident Keith Wilbanks explained. “They have all been the same, just a lot of hard work, daylight until up in to the night.”

Wilbanks lost an old family home and his auto body shop.  He said residents will be feeling the effects of this for years to come.

Nine families lost their homes in total. Some of the families have said they’re staying, but some have packed up and left.

“There’s been a lot of tears shed, there really has,” said Wilbanks. “All of our old historical buildings, all of the older homes, the Methodist Church is completely gone.”

But there is hope in Lutts. The front doors of the Lutts United Methodist Church remain standing as a sign of determination they will be back.

“It’s been very tough. But it is what it is,” said Wilbanks. “We’re working with the best we’ve got and we’ve had a lot of good people, great people, so many volunteers that’s come in.”

A bad situation, but one Wilbanks said they are making the best of.

Donations to help tornado survivors in Lutts Tennessee are being accepted at the Lutts Volunteer Fire Department on Highway 203.  Call (931) 724-5511 for more information.

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