Tornado Victim Gets New Home

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RAINSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Canadian volunteers hammered in the final nail Friday morning of a new home for a DeKalb County man.

The Long Term Recovery Committee held a house dedication ceremony for James Sparks, who lost his home and his wife, Peggy, in the storms of April 27, 2011.

"We all jumped in the closets and that's about the last I remember," Sparks said.

"I passed out after that and the pressure from the storm hit you and just knocked you out like someone hit you in the head with a hammer.  When I woke up, I was about 150 yards down the road.  It's by the grace of God I'm still here."

The tornado took out every home on Skaggs Road in Rainsville.  Sparks' is the first rebuilt.

"This day is Good Friday, Sunday's Easter, all I can is thank the Lord," he said.

After the storm he lived with his brother-in-law for a while, and also with a niece and nephew, but six weeks ago the LTRC informed him he was going to get a house.

"Before I know it they had it in here and done.  In four weeks," Sparks said.

A team of three dozen volunteers from Canada finished the house this week.

"We heard about the storms the day it happened," volunteer Dick Nywening said.

"It was on our local news back in Ontario and we could see some of the devastation but we still have no understanding how these people have survived this," he said.

The workers volunteered through the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee.

"We're from many different denominations but we're all Canadian and we all have the same goal.  Help out where we can, when we can," Nywening said.

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