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No question to rebuild for Pilgrim’s Rest family

By Gary Lloyd

Sherri Blank thinks she and her family live in the best place in Trussville.

So when last year’s EF-3 tornado took their home on Jonathans Way in the Pilgrim’s Rest neighborhood, the question to rebuild wasn’t really a question.

The family of four — Sherri, Pete, and son 11-year-old Logan and 15-year-old daughter Madison — didn’t “consider strongly” moving somewhere else, Sherri said.

“We really knew this is where we wanted to be,” she said. “We like this house.”

Logan Blank watches a crane lift what was left of the Blank home so the family could find salvageable items. The contents of Logan’s room ended up in the deep end of the family’s pool, Sherri Blank said.
photo courtesy of Mandi Logan

Their house was completely destroyed in the Jan. 23, 2012, tornado. The family had loved the layout of the house, the space, the pool in the back yard, the downstairs room where the four braced for the tremendous winds and debris.

They wanted it rebuilt the same way.

Sherri said Sandy Darden from Darden Construction helped the family reconstruct the same home by finding the original architect who had the original building plans, plans the family lost in the tornado. The home now is 95 percent the same as the one taken by the tornado, Sherri said. Of the 17 homes completely destroyed in Pilgrim’s Rest, the Blanks were the first to rebuild theirs. They broke ground in late March and moved back in in August after living with Sherri’s parents in Clay.

People help the Blank family search through their pool on Jan. 23, 2012.
photo courtesy of Sherri Blank

Sherri said their home was always the home to host indoor get-togethers and pool parties in the back yard. The family on Saturday hosted, albeit outdoors, a block party for Pilgrim’s Rest residents to share their tornado experiences from one year ago. The Blanks are back to hosting.

“We really enjoy our home,” Sherri said.

For more information about the Blanks’ Jan. 23, 2012, tornado experiences, check out Pete Blank’s 2012 blog posts at http://blog.peteblank.com.

Contact Gary Lloyd at news@trussvilletribune.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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