SULLIVAN, Ind. (WEHT)- The Southwest Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross is in Sullivan, just south of Terre Haute, providing shelter to tornado victims. This comes just three days after the National Weather Service says an EF-3 tornado with peak wind speeds of 155 mph carved a path of destruction. Three people died and several others were hospitalized with injuries.
Pam and Greg Miller survived the tornado with their grandson in a crawlspace.
“All I saw was a black cloud, and I said we have got to get into our crawl space. I could hear the thing coming right here in the garage. It sounded like a freight train coming through,” the family says.
The Miller’s say it lasted for a few minutes, but it felt like hours. The tornado tossed their home of 26 years into the woods. Even though they lost nearly everything, the Miller’s say they are lucky.
“Our son brought us his RV,” the couple says.
Local volunteers from the Southwest Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross are on the ground helping tornado victims. They set up a shelter at a local church.
“The church opened their doors to us so we can help our clients here. We are providing them with a safe place to sleep, warm meals, and mental health resources,” says Claire Will, the Disaster Program Manager.
The Red Cross says they plan to stay until those using the shelter have a safe place to go.
“We did damage assessments on the homes to get a good look at what the damage is,” Will says.
Back at the Miller’s property, Helping His Hand, a group based in Vincennes who responded to the December 10, 2021 tornado that devastated Western Kentucky is helping the Miller’s comb through the debris.
“We are helping the family basically sift through what was left, so it is basically recovery that is going on,” says Scott Shipman, the Director of Helping His Hands.
Shipman says their group responds to natural disasters like this around the county, but adds this one hits close to home.
“We are helping people who have connections to our volunteers and staff,” he says.
The Miller family says they plan on rebuilding their home.