Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
WAGENER, S.C. (WRDW) -- Tornadoes are the number one severe weather killer in Georgia.
Every year about 30 tornadoes hit Georgia, and 27 hit South Carolina. Two years ago, one tore through Wagener.
You could easily say 89-year-old Vibraschi Aversa is a lucky guy.
"I was fortunate. I didn't even get a scratch," Aversa said.
He's walked away from World War II and a tornado that ripped right through the middle of his home two years ago.
"All of a sudden there is no roof over my head," Aversa said.
His home was destroyed in the blink of an eye. Memories and belongings were scattered across the floor and even miles away.
"It blew the roof right off here. All the plaster and beams were coming down," Aversa said.
Now, half of that home is back up and the other half is just grass and remnants of what once stood.
"You don't feel sorry for yourself. You just think what are you going to do," Aversa said.
After two years of hard work, brick by brick, Aversa has slowly built another house just a stone's throw from his old one.
"What am I going to run away from? I love this place. I said to myself tornadoes and storms could be anyplace. What is the sense of me running away?" said Aversa.
When most people would be wondering why this happened. Aversa always stayed positive.
"I never got angry because nature did it, not man," Aversa said.
Tornadoes happen quickly with very little warning. If you do have time to see shelter, experts say go to the center of the house or a hallway.
If you're in your car stop driving, and get out and lay in a low flat area, and especially cover your head.