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SIX MONTHS LATER, AND STORMS STILL HAUNT THEM

The storms and tornado killed 21 people - eight of whom lived on the same street.

The survivors on Cooter Pond Road simply call it "the storm."

Six months have passed since a powerful combination of storms and a tornado ripped through Central Florida, killing 21 people - eight of them on Cooter Pond Road.

"Three died here, and three died across the street, and two died next door," said Tammy Alford, who was sucked from her shattered mobile home and hurled about 50 yards during the Feb. 2 storm. "I get the chills when I come down the street and hit the dirt road here."

It was the second-deadliest combination of storms in Florida history, cutting a swath of destruction across three counties just before daybreak, terrorizing residents of one of the nation's biggest retirement communities, and leaving trees and fields littered with clothes, furniture and splintered lumber.

"Every time I go into the woods, I find some little portion of our lives," said Lee Hicks, Alford's boyfriend. "God's hid it, and we have to seek it."

The storm survivors say they've formed an eerie bond.

"I don't think too much about what I seen," said Dustin Kennedy, who was buried under the walls of his mobile home that night. "I try not to, as much as possible."

He saw each of his dead neighbors that night. One died as he loaded him into a police car.

"I had his shoulders in my hands," Kennedy said.

Up next:AROUND TOWN

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