Cleanup efforts continue after tornado, storms damage downtown Mooresville

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MOORESVILLE, Ind. — Home and business owners in Mooresville spent the day cleaning up storm damage.

Strong winds Wednesday night left a trail of debris across central Indiana.

An instant blast of wind snapped a large tree trunk that landed on Deb Hutchinson’s home.

“I thought we were going to die,” said Deb Hutchinson. “I’m not easily scared. I was terrified.”

Hutchinson owns a restaurant in Mooresville, which was hit by a EF1 tornado, the Nation Weather Service confirmed. The tree branches in front of her home also fell on top of her SUV, then within seconds, the storm passed.

“I can’t believe my 13-pound dog didn’t fly away. It was like the Wizard of Oz for 10 seconds. It’s was crazy,” said Hutchinson.

“The roof of our building, there’s a six-foot hole in it,” said business owner Paul Ford.

Ford owns a restaurant in downtown Mooresville, which lost lots of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that was before the storm damaged his roof and walls.

“You know, you struggle and you struggle and it’s just another hill to climb,” said Ford.

Across the street from Ford, a pile of bricks covers the sidewalk after the second floor of a building crumbled. Another nearby building had it’s roof completely torn off.

“This is sort of uncharted territory for us for sure,” said division chief John Robinson with the Mooresville Fire Department.

Because of the statewide stay-at-home order, there were very few people on the streets of downtown when the storm hit.

“I mean, luckily a couple of our little restaurants were empty, and so we didn’t have any injuries,” said Robinson.

“You know, I’m ready to restart 2020. We need a redo,” said Ford.

While trying to keep his spirits up, Ford admits it’s hard dealing with storm damage and a global health crisis at the same time.

“These small businesses around here, it hurts,” said Ford.

The fire chief estimates cleanup could last several days, especially if some of the downtown buildings have be demolished.

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