SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. — The deadliest path for a tornado that hit Indiana late Friday night was through Sullivan County, south of Terre Haute.
Three people died when the twister tore through the south side of the city of Sullivan in the darkness.
Mindy Queen rode out the tornado in the bathroom of her home in the 700 block of South Main Street.
”And then when the roof comes off, my husband just lifted up from the draft, he wrapped his feet around the stool. It held us down,” she said. ”It probably wasn’t that long but it seemed like it went on forever.”
Throughout neighborhoods south of downtown, piles of rubble and wrecked cars litter the yards where homes once stood.
”The last report I got there were about two hundred structures affected in the county and about 150 of those were here in the city limits,” said Mayor Clint Lamb. ”We’re not gonna have to issue too many demolition orders. I think Mother Nature pretty well took care of that.”
While some displaced residents took shelter overnight at the Abundant Grace Church, volunteers opened up the Sullivan Civic Center to accept donations.
”We were fortunate enough that Lowe’s and Rural King donated tools and flashlights and stuff like that,” said Jerricha Meeks. “But we are low on hardhats and other than that, we’re just taking donations. Baby food formula, diapers, whatever the people may need.”
Gov. Eric Holcomb visited the community to declare it a State of Emergency.
“So this is an all-hands-on-deck effort,” he said. “And it will continue to be. It won’t just be we’re dropping a parachute one day and gone the next. This will be a memory that is seared into our minds forever, especially those people who were directly affected. But this is gonna last for a long time and equally so the rebuild.”
Mayor Lamb said that he had been assured by State officials that displaced residents would be given 30-day housing vouchers to help them get back on their feet.