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Rebuilding after the tornado: 'Everybody's pulling together'

AUMSVILLE, Ore. - The dust has settled, and the debris has been cleared.

Now the rebuilding process begins as the town of Aumsville looks toward a fresh start in the new year after a tornado ripped through town.

"All the trees have been picked up and all the debris has been picked up," said tornado witness Mike Downs. "Everything looks a lot cleaner, but you still see all the damage that's been done."

Residents said life is pretty much back to normal in the small town.

But everywhere you look, people are trying to rebuild from the damage that was left in the tornado's wake.

"They've had so many volunteers, they didn't have enough jobs for them," said Aumsville Planning Commission member Vicky Barbar.

Steven Worden was one of the people hardest hit by the tornado. His barber shop was practically leveled when the tornado came through. He was inside at the time but wasn't hurt.

"Very lucky, yeah, I was right in the eye of that tornado, so I feel very lucky," Worden said.

Two days after the tornado hit, he started to look for a new place to set up his business. He found a new building that had space available. Worden said the owner is a client of his. "Things have fallen together pretty well," he said.

Now he's just hoping his clients find him in his new space.

Across town, contractors are busy working on damaged homes bt replacing roofs, walls and fences ripped apart by the winds.

Many of the homeowners hardest hit have been receiving help from Red Cross.

And as people in this community look back on what happened, they realize things could have been much worse.

"We are God-fearing, caring people and when you live in a community like that, I truly believe that you are protected and I think that's exactly what happened," said Barbar.

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