Thomson teen takes care of family after storm

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March 3, 2007

THOMSON, Ga.---Families across McDuffie and Warren counties are struggling to pick up the pieces after Thursday's storm.

In one Thomson family, the heavy burden of the clean up is falling on the shoulders of a 15-year-old.

"It's just a lot of stuff I have to do to get back to where we started before the storm came through," Kelvin Rocker, Jr. told News 12.

Trees litter the Rocker family's property like fallen dominos. It's times like this Kelvin wishes his father was home to help...but he's not.

Kelvin Rocker, Sr. is fighting in his second tour of duty in Iraq, and his family is fighting for shelter at home after Thursday's storm sent three trees falling into his oldest son's bedroom.

News 12 was there when he called to check on his family.

"It's been real hard with him being gone at this time," said Kelvin Sr.'s wife Sandra.

Sandra says it's also been hard for her husband to see the devastation on TV, knowing he was 6600 miles away and helpless when this serious storm hit.

"He's like, 'I need to be at home. I need to be at home rather than other here with this,' which is true," Sandra said.

But with more than a year left to serve, his family must make the repairs on their own.

Three cars were damaged during the storm. The roof is already patched, but insulation is still everywhere.

Kelvin Jr.'s working to pack it in trash bags so three year old Kelil doesn't get a hold of it.

That isn't a problem yet, because Kelil is busy enough outside. Keeping up with him and cleaning is starting to take a toll.

"It's so stressful!" Sandra said.

"It's very hard, and tiresome to do all this work in a couple of days," Kelvin Jr. said. "And I got to back to school too, so it's hard."

The Rocker family lives in the Hickory Hill neighborhood, which saw some of the worst storm damage.

The Red Cross was there today passing out hot lunches, and clean up crews were also there.

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