Memories made over a lifetime, erased in a matter of seconds.
“I saw like a box of ornaments for a Christmas tree all handmade over the years. It brought me to tears because they’re all ruined.”
Emily Mahon spent Wednesday morning surrounded by friends outside of what used to be a family home, now drenched with the horrific memory of Tuesday night’s storm.
“My parents went upstairs and I sat down in the basement with my little brother. He’s crying and he’s like please don’t leave me. I wasn’t going to leave him. I wouldn’t do that. I just heard them screaming like everything’s gone! Everything is destroyed!”
Next door to Emily, another family spent Wednesday searching for heirlooms around a concrete slab that used to be their house. Cars that were once parked in a garage, were flipped around several feet away from where they were last parked.
A few miles away, one person was killed by what the National Weather service expects to be at least an EF-3 tornado. The body of Tom McCord was found dozens of feet away from his house after the storm passed.
Those close to the McCord family spent the morning shedding tears, but also assessing devastation. The family’s home sits as a shell and the items that were once inside, ripped through the windows and the roof of the house littered across the yard.
A farming operation is picking up over $1 Million in damage in White County as well.
“Tonight I’m going to be down. I’m going to go home and collapse.”
Mike Johnson had two grain bins collapse and another tossed off his property by the winds.
He said waking up to storm damage Wednesday has him in unfortunate familiar territory.
“This place actually burned down 13 years ago, this shop did. This shop is just 13 years old. We built it in 2004. Now we get to do it again.”
He also lost a friend. He knew Tom McCord for more than 25 years, and his death is keeping things in perspective.
“I just hate it. It’s terrible. I hate it. It makes this not seem so bad,” said an emotional Johnson.
After the wind came and left, a community is searching for a place to start, prepared to come together.
Tom McCord’s wife, Debbie, was injured in the storm as well. She has since been treated and released from the hospital.