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SEE HOW: Woodland Drives neighborhood makes progress in recovery eight weeks after tornado

Posted at 11:43 PM, Jul 05, 2024
  • The Woodland Drives neighborhood is making progress in tornado recovery.
  • Eight weeks later, neighbors here say their next goal is reforestation.
  • Watch the video to hear neighbors describe the destruction of their neighborhood and the plans to reverse it.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Tornado recovery is still on the forefront of so many neighbors' minds, even eight weeks later.

Deborah Lawson, Neighbor - "It's going to take 50 years for things to look the way they looked before. It won't be my lifetime, but we'll do what we can."

I'm Kenya Cardonne, your Southeast Tallahassee neighborhood reporter.

I'm looking into the progress of recovery in the Woodland Drives neighborhood and what's still to come.

Deborah Lawson took me through her Woodland Drives home, recalling what her neighborhood used to look like before May 10th.

Deborah Lawson, Neighbor - "We live in an urban forest and so much of it is gone."

Claudia Holland, Neighbor - "The whole fabric, environment of this neighborhood has changed as a result of this storm."

Fellow Woodland neighbor Claudia Holland describes the aftermath of it all.

Holland - "I had to climb over large trees in order to get to just my neighbors' homes."

Lawson - "We're still kind of a neighborhood in mourning for our trees and our shade."

Woodland Drives is located near the Indianhead and Myers Park neighborhoods — areas in Southeast Tallahassee that the tornadoes tore apart.

According to a recent report by Leon County, more than 280,000 cubic yards of debris have been collected as of late June across the county.

Neighbors say the cleanup efforts have helped ease their worries over the massive trees and downed power lines that were scattered everywhere.

Lawson - "I really have to give kudos to the City for their response. It was a massive undertaking and they were here night and day."

As the Chair of the Beautification Committee, Lawson and her neighbors are now focused on restoring what they call the 'urban forest' they used to live in.

Lawson - "We're going to work on restoring the landscaping to some of our traffic areas that got hit really hard and trying to get people to plant trees."

A project she says will be difficult, but not impossible.

Lawson - "It's a really old, established Tallahassee neighborhood since 1931, so it'd be great to see it get restored to some degree."

The Beautification Committee is set to meet on July 24 to discuss the future of the neighborhood, including reforestation efforts.

In Southeast Tallahassee, Kenya Cardonne, ABC 27