Washington, IN residents optimistic despite tornado damage

By Kyle Inskeep

Published 11/18 2013 07:19PM

Updated 11/18 2013 10:13PM

The cleanup is underway in Indiana and Illinois after Sunday's dose of nature's fury produced tornadoes.

In Washington, Indiana nine homes were destroyed and 14 others have serious damage. Dozens of houses suffered minor damage.

Despite all that destruction, this community remains optimist.

Homes were destroyed, power lines are down, a local radio station is nearly wiped out, but not off the air.

"We found a way to be back on the air in three hours," says Dave Crooks, WAMW owner.

WAMW set up a makeshift studio just outside of Washington along U.S. 50. They've been a big help to people in this small town.

"When you're a small town broadcaster you really do serve in the public interest and our biggest focus was making sure that we kept the community as a whole safe," Crooks said.

The damage along old U.S. 50 is even more widespread causing some families to leave homes they've lived in for years or in one case just days.

"We just moved in. We moved all of our big stuff in Saturday and yesterday before it started raining we finished up and said lets go celebrate her dad's birthday," Joseph Johnson said.

It was a celebration that was cut short once Johnson heard that a possible tornado touched down near his new home. "When I pulled up I saw the house and just could not believe what happened," he says.

Despite this family's loss they still remain grateful. "I haven't heard of too many casualties, that's the main thing. Houses can be rebuilt, but people can't," Johnson says.

There is a curfew in effect in Washington again Monday night. Police are asking people to be in their homes by 9 p.m.

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