Six Months Later: Flint Ridge Farms still recovering from November’s Tornado

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Tuesday officially marked six months since an EF-2 tornado tore through much of North Alabama, including the Ryland Pike area.

Six months later, Flint Ridge Farm is still working to pick up all the pieces the storm left behind.

The day after the storms hit, WHNT News 19 was out at the scene as volunteer groups worked to clean up debris.

Almost every structure on the property was either damaged or destroyed, yet remarkably, not a single horse was severely injured or killed.

In the last 180 days, the farm's supporters and members have banded together to reopen their beloved barn.

“We got a lot destroyed and we want to put it back," says Heidi Rose, the owner of Flint Ridge Farm.

If there's anything Heidi has learned, while in the saddle, it's no matter what hurdle, you have to take everything in stride.

"“The outpouring has been really, really amazing," she says. “You think you’re just a small farm in North Alabama.”

Six months after the main barn's roof collapsed, a new one has taken its place.

“The green barn, now red, has been completely repaired and rewired," says Rose.

Red only in color, they still call it the green barn. Old habits die hard.

“The cleanup has kind of been ongoing. Whenever the P.A.R. folks have been available to come, it’s all volunteer so it’s been awesome," she says.

While splintered wood and debris disappeared, there are still reminders of that November 30th stormy night.

The tree line still bears the scars of swirling wind. The footprint of the indoor dressage arena remains bare.

"Let’s go to work, let’s get this stuff down," says Rose.

As with the hours after the storm, Flint Ridge Farm has relied on the kindness of strangers, when it comes to fundraising.

“You just realize how close the horse community is because people will still call and ask if there’s anything they can come over and do," she says.

The rest has come from a Small Business Administration loan.

“We have to pay it back, but it’s the money that’s going to help us rebuild our remaining buildings," says Rose.

The next big project will be replacing the dressage arena.

“The silver lining is it’s going to be larger than what it was,and that’s kind of neat. You know, lessons learned," she says.

As time trots on, so does the resolve to complete the restoration of this farm.

“Our little barn family has been amazing so I think we’ve gotten even closer," says Rose.

This Saturday, the barn will host their very first show, since the November 30th tornado. You can find more information on the barn's website.

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