One year later: Woman who lost 3 loved ones in Waverly tornado moves forward

WAVERLY, Va. (WAVY) — Friday marks one year since a devastating tornado ripped through the small town of Waverly, killing three people and leaving homes, churches and businesses destroyed.

While much of the damage has been cleaned up, many still carry the pain the storm left behind.

“It’s a struggle every day,” said Trenika Stringfield.

Trenika lost her two-year-old son, Ian Lewis, her 26-year-old brother, Devine Stringfield, and her boyfriend, Larry Turner, when the tornado tore through their mobile home. She was the lone survivor.

“It’s just so hard for me to overcome,” said Jackie Bailey, Trenika’s mother.

The pair spoke with 8News affiliate WAVY at Trenika’s new home in Waverly.

“It’s a foreclosed house and it needed all kinds of love that I couldn’t afford,” Trenika said.

Volunteers are working to fix it. When WAVY was there, two workers from Affordable Solutions and Home Helpers were renovating her kitchen. They are working in conjunction with United Methodist Committee On Relief.

“We do it because we’re giving a gift and we share that gift with other people, just try to help out,” Mark Harris said.

While the victims can’t change what happened last February, families like Trenika’s are choosing to move forward.

“The day itself, there’s nothing you can do about it,” she said. “We pray about it, there’s nothing you can do about it, you can’t just feel depressed and stressed about it, because even though it’s sad, it’s a part of life … so we actually just gotta embrace the good.”

She and her family cling to the positive memories with the loved ones they lost. They are grateful for how much the community has helped them.

“I can just say God has been good, very good and sending the right people our way,” she said.

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