Memorial Day Tornadoes: How Celina continues rebuilding 4 years after tornado outbreak

CELINA — Saturday will mark four years since the Memorial Day Tornado outbreak.

Among the areas hit that night was Celina.

>>PHOTOS: What Celina looks like 4 years after Memorial Day Tornadoes

News Center 7′s John Bedell was there Friday and spoke with people in part of Mercer County about their recovery.

It was in the Wheatland Acres neighborhood along Fairground Road there the tornado outbreak turned deadly in Celina.

>>Memorial Day Tornadoes: Remembering the destruction, devastation 4 years later

Four years later, Bedell says the neighborhood is just about rebuilt and there are new homes popping up.

Ray Kramer has been working on spreading out a final bag of mulch, touching up his garden. He and his wife Valerie are hoping for a quieter Memorial Day weekend than the one four years ago.

“We heard the noise, the windows breaking and very loud didn’t last very long,” she said. “And then an eerie quiet afterward.”

>>THE FIRST PHOTOS: Daylight revealed widespread damage from 2019 Memorial Day storms

Bedell was in the Kramer’s neighborhood in 2019, the day after the storms.

He said the backyards of those homes were littered with debris four years ago.

But the community came together to clean up the neighborhood, including someone with a tractor.

>>ORIGINAL STORY: Celina continues cleanup effort after Memorial Day tornadoes

“Small Town USA, it comes together,” said Ray.

“To watch people that maybe didn’t speak to each other normally or maybe they had a grudge against a neighbor, you didn’t see any of that,” said Jeff Hazel, Celina Mayor. “They were right there helping each other.”

>>RELATED: Celina working to recover one year after the Memorial Day Tornadoes

Four years later, it is completely different.

Images from Sky 7 show the neighborhood is completely rebuilt.

“2019 was the most devastating tornado because of it tugging at the heartstrings of people. We actually had a fatality,” Hazel told Bedell.

The storms turned deadly when Dale Hannah, 81, was killed in his sleep.

The tornado threw a car onto his house.

“He was a very fine gentleman,” said Tim Menchhofer.”

>>RELATED: Celina seeing progress as recovery continues after Memorial Day tornado

Menchhofer was sleeping when the storm hit. His wife was watching News Center 7 and woke him up.

“McCall. Yes. She came on and she started saying ‘people in Celina take cover because it’s coming right at you.,” he said. “And within like 30 seconds after we were in the basement, he hit it just like that. It was over.”

After all the destruction in their community and to have one death and only one serious injury in Celina, folks like the Kramers say they still feel fortunate four years later.

>>RELATED: How is Celina recovering from the Memorial Day tornadoes?

“Definitely feel God was watching over us,” said Ray.

Bedell says there is a two-part memorial people see every time they leave the Wheatland Acres neighborhood in Celina.