SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — In Sullivan, many homes have been leveled and hauled away as cleanup efforts continue after an EF-3 tornado wreaked havoc on the community.
Within the devastated neighborhood are a few houses where residents continue to weather storm inside their damaged homes.
Chris Silcott, a retired lineman and Sullivan County resident said he has worked many devastating storms throughout his career.
“When I was a lineman, we would come in and put power back up and then we were gone,” Silcott said. “But being here, dealing with it every day, it’s totally different.”
Silcott has been staying in his home on Silver Street since the storm.
“There’s no power here, I’ve got cold water, that’s all,” Silcott said. “It’s pretty basic living. All I got left is a bed to sleep in, a little gas heater to keep me warm.”
Silcott said there are nights that it’s been cold. Every couple of days he needs a break and a shower and that’s when he gets a room at the motel in Sullivan or visits a family member; but he has preferred staying at the place he has called home for the last 20 years.
“I’m going to clean everything out of here. And we’re hoping to put a camper right here and get some temporary power,” Silcott said.
Just up the road inside Sullivan’s city limits, Lee and Cindy Jett have also chosen to stay in their home.
“We took a lot of damage, but we’re still standing, and that’s a blessing,” Jett said.
While many of the homes surrounding the Jett’s home are gone, they are staying in their living room while their water damaged home is undergoing restoration.
“We’ve got power back on, the cables on, the internet, the only thing we don’t have is gas,” Jett said.
The family pitched a tent in the backyard. A backup place to stay in the event they need to evacuate the house.
“If they say we need to get out of the house, and it’s up, we ain’t messing with it at night or anything trying to get it up.”
Silcot and the Jetts both expressed their thanks to all the people and organizations who helped in the aftermath.
“It’s been amazing the help we’ve had,” Jett said.
“The Salvation Army left Friday; they were great people,” Silcott said. “Samaritan’s Purse has been here helping me clean up. They’re just great tremendous people. I want to thank everybody that pitched in, helped me clean up the yard, cut down trees. God knows where I’d be without them,” he added.
Despite the destruction, Sullivan residents remain hopeful and gracious.