Cleanup underway after EF-2 tornado hits Monroe County

ELLETTSVILLE, Ind. — Roofs are stripped and scattered, billboards are flipped, roads are closed, and walls are peeled from homes exposing the inside after an EF-2 tornado caused utter devastation in the town of Ellettsville.

In his 48 years of living in Monroe County, Robert Smith  never experienced anything like this. “We just happened to be standing out on the front porch. And thought this is getting a little bit worse. The next thing we know, we ducked back in the house real quickly,” said Smith.

His home was spared, but his barn was not. “That was a pole barn we had. As you can see it not only pulled the top off, but it pulled those posts out of the ground,” said Smith.

From the hills behind his home, you can see where the storm ripped through, shredding trees and cutting them in half.

Just down the street on West Cowden Road, Bob McGlocklin and his wife took cover in the hallway. His home is covered with a tarp after winds shattered windows and dismantled his front porch, and trees punched through his roof.

“There’s about 12 big holes through the roof. But you could just feel the house shake every time a tree had land on it and just fall on it,” McGlocklin said.

The winds left a neighbor's garage upside down, and their mailbox in his backyard.

"Friend of mine called me and said, 'It’s a mile from your house. It’s headed right for you.' He said, 'Take cover.' 20 seconds... It was gone. I called him back, I said, 'It hit us bad. It’s headed your way,'" McGlocklin said.

But McGlocklin says it was different than another tornado he lived through in 1992. "Well, the '92 tornado sounded like a freight train. When they tell you that believe it. This one had no sound. It was just a roar," said McGlocklin. 

As mother nature got too friendly, so did these neighbors, banding together to lend a helping hand. "A lot of friends, a lot of neighbors, we have it covered for now," said McGlocklin.

But neighbors on Cowden Road believe their comeback will be stronger than this setback. "It could’ve been a lot worse. No one on this road that I know of or have talked to got hurt. Not one drop of blood was shed here. So thank God for that," he said.

Sunday evening power crews were out working to restore power in the area. Emergency officials say it could take between one to two weeks until power is fully restored.

A disaster declaration was signed by county commissioners. That declaration will be reviewed by the legal department and then filed with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

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