SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– U.S. Senator Mike Braun, alongside U.S. Congressman Larry Bucshon, both spoke in Sullivan Tuesday to address the long-term recovery efforts for the community. 

Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb said several state agencies will be in town the next few days to offer assistance to residents as debris removal continues. As people around the area prepared for additional storms forecasted to hit the area Wednesday, Lamb said the city is also focused on securing financial resources for the community.

“Long-term recovery needs financial assistance and support,” he said. “It needs to be targeted. We need those resources to be able to directly impact the families and also be in it for the long haul.”

Sen. Braun said he hopes to see the state of Indiana declared a “disaster area” at a federal level, which would allow more resources. He said they were working to make that happen as quickly as possible, and they are currently compiling damage caused by the storm across Indiana before they make that request. 

“When it comes to what else is hopefully going to happen, the state has declared it a disaster area. I think it’s working on right now to get everything together to make sure we get a federal disaster declared as well, and the help that will come along with that,” he said. “There’s a process to that. We reviewed that before we got here, because everybody is waiting on what’s going to happen. I think that’s feverishly in process.”

Rep.Bucshon said there are a number of opportunities available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency if that declaration is made.

“Through FEMA and others, there’s all kinds of grants that will become available. I don’t have a list in front of me, but it’s extensive,” he said.

All three of the officials who spoke made it clear: This recovery will take months, if not years. Lamb said a curfew will continue to be in place where damage occurred to help those families. 

He said the sadness of the situation began to hit him Monday night, but he felt inspired as around 200 people came together on Tuesday to help get a message in place. 

“200 folks of my new closest friends were standing in front of me, we gathered together and we came together as a family, and we just let them know, it’s going to be okay,” he said. “Whatever they’re going through, as tough as it was, it’s going to be okay.”     

Watch the full meeting below.

Senator Braun and Congressman Bucshon in Sullivan