PEACH GROVE, Ky. - The Labor Day weekend was extra special for a Pendleton County couple, who finally got to enjoy their newly rebuilt home just six months after the old one was destroyed by a tornado.
Bill and Deborah Sparks said they feel blessed and fortunate to be in a new home so quickly after they were almost killed by a tornado that ravaged Northern Kentucky on March 2.
Ever since, they and their neighbors have been struggling to pick up the pieces and rebuild their homes and their lives.
The couple's new house on Mays Road is a prized possession sitting on a hill over Peach Grove. Just this Thursday, they finally moved in after spending six months in a rented condo in Wilder.
"Oh, it was great," Bill Sparks said of the house.
"A blessing," Deborah Sparks said.
The March tornado that struck Peach Grove ravaged the house the Sparks had owned for 40 years. It left the house a total loss within minutes. There was no roof left and every room was destroyed.
But even a week later, Bill was still very hopeful. At the time he told 9 News, "We're starting to plan to build back. We're hoping six months to be back here."
The Sparks made it back a week ahead of time.
The new house is 400 square feet bigger than the old one, with at least two rooms still to be filled with possessions.
"Yes. It's better than the old house. It's got a tin roof this time and we changed it up," Deborah said.
The Sparks and one of their sons ran to the basement just seconds before the tornado hit. What happened is something the Sparks say they'll never forget.
"It was scary," Bill Sparks said.
"I didn't realize until after it was over how bad it really was going to be. I came up and it was like, 'Oh, my God!' We could have died," Deborah said.
The family came to spend the last day of the Labor Day weekend with the Sparks. They enjoyed homemade peach, apple and blueberry cobbler. All of them said they were proud and happy their parents finally had a new home.
"It gives me a peace of mind," the Sparks' daughter, Angel, said as she started to cry. "Shortly after the tornado during the cleanup I remember posting on Facebook, 'Today was the first day I seen my dad smile. And that's a good day.' It was during cleanup and he was helping with the bobcats working. And that was just a good day to see that. And it's good to see this."
Bill Sparks' advice to the rest of us is to make sure we have a good homeowners insurance policy. He said he paid for one for 30 years and never used it, until the March tornado destroyed his home.
Now, Sparks and his family are very relieved they made that investment.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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