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Tornado smashes through Monroe County, destroying homes and automobiles



Monroe County, Indiana – With winds of 138 mph, an EF-3 tornado tore through Monroe County on Friday night, leveling houses along West Wolf Mountain Road.

Virtually all of the homes had their roofs and outside walls destroyed. Sometimes, all that is left is the foundation.

“It was over fairly quick,” Nell Parish said. “It just seemed like forever.”

As the tornado hit, Parish and five other family members—including her grandson Jake Hill—were holed up in an inside corridor.

“Stuff is falling, debris,” Hill said. “We had insulation in our eyes, we’re breathing in insulation.”

Parish claimed that she clung to the family dog because she wasn’t sure if she would survive.

“My life kind of flashed before my eyes because I thought ‘Is this it? Am I gonna go out the back of the house?’” Parish said.

The family could see the sky as the rain began to pour on them when they came out of the restroom and the corridor. Its roof has vanished.

Their route was closed both ways and it was completely dark. All they could do was wait for assistance to arrive.

“We were out here sitting in our wet clothes for six or seven hours,” Hill said. “There was nowhere to go.”

The mother of Charlie Rollins was tossed from her mobile home just down the road when the tornado struck. Rollins claimed that she was lying on the ground, alone, in the dark.

“I got a text from her that said ‘help’ and you can imagine as a son you get that text,” Rollins recalled. “You don’t know what you don’t know, but when I got that text, I just knew I knew what happened. I knew the storm had gotten her.”

According to Rollins, his mother had to receive multiple stitches for a laceration on her back and shattered her leg. He has been laboring to clear up the enormous mess for the past three days with the help of other family members and volunteers.

“You don’t know where to start and you don’t know if there’s ever going to be an end,” Rollins said.

He claimed that his true happiness came from his mother still being alive.

That was the sentiment that so many people shared, despite the destruction the storm left in its wake. Even though they were left with nothing, they still have each other.

“All of this is just material things, and that can be replaced. People can’t,” Parish said. “We still have each other to hold onto. And I’m grateful for that.”

The American Red Cross distributed food to volunteers and survivors in Monroe County.

Power restoration is currently being worked on by crews.

The family we spoke to is currently staying with friends while they decide their next course of action.

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