SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Recovery efforts continue in Sullivan, following the deadly March 31st tornado that ripped through portions of the area, and more help is on the way.
“I can say firsthand, from the White House to the Statehouse, the response has been unbelievable,” explains Sullivan mayor Clint Lamb. “[Now], here comes the federal government, here comes FEMA trying to assist. But, there’s still going to be a lot of unmet needs because there is no playbook to recover from a natural disaster, to react [to] a natural disaster and to make people whole again from a natural disaster.”
That means, it’s going to take more than just government agencies to help victims move forward.
Thursday, Scott Womack, owner of Mod Pizza and Popeyes in Terre Haute presented just over $16,000 to the Wabash Valley Community Foundation “Help Sullivan Recover Fund.”
Womack says, “We donated sales from the entire day. We had a line in the drive thru the entire day. People were really happy to come out and support it.”
The mayor says he’s grateful to the local businesses that help and hope more companies can step up to assist.
“What I can’t express enough is the feeling of gratitude and appreciation. To see these businesses, in Terre Haute, they don’t’ know the folks that were affected, and it didn’t matter. They stepped up in a huge way.”
Womack explains, raising money for tornado victims is just the tip of a very big iceberg. “We need hands. We need people down here to do some of the work. We need a lot of people to coordinate efforts. The Wabash Valley Community Foundation has been very helpful to help coordinate that and bring these folks together because, it’s a long-term effort. It’s going to take several years to bring this back.”
The mayor acknowledges the road to recovery in Sullivan is going to be a long one, and he hopes the donations, like the ones they got this week, continue.
“The anxiety is still because, people just want to go home. Literally, they just want to go home.”