The gigantic mess left behind by Sunday’s tornado is disappearing in a hurry. The downed trees are gone and so is the rubble from the damaged houses. Power has been restored and Sycamore and the intersecting streets are clear. “It looks a lot different than it did Sunday,” said Rod Foster as he took a break from putting a new roof on a house on Sycamore Street.
Even city officials who have been involved in the cleanup effort are impressed with the way the neighborhood is bouncing back. “Isn’t it amazing?” asked Mayor Joe Wellman. “When I walked down there on Sunday I thought it would be a week before we even got the power back on.”
City electrical crews with help from Jasper, Crawfordsville, and Huntingburg now have restored electricity to all of the city. “That was our first priority,” said Wellman. “If anyone doesn’t have power now, they should contact the utilities office.”
Not only is the electricity back in place but nearly all of the rubble is gone. A combination of volunteers, friends, city and county crews have almost 90 percent of the debris removed. One group pitching in was the Road Crew from the Daviess County Jail. “We have seven guys on the crew today, and there were 10 yesterday,” said Road Crew Supervisor Rick Robinson. “We’re working closely with Street Superintendent Ernie Evans. He tells us what he needs and we try to do it.”
“We have tried to coordinate the volunteer efforts, and get people where they are needed,” said Wellman. “We intend to keep the volunteer center open through Friday.”
The quick work on the cleanup has impressed people in the neighborhood. Diana Skomp’s daycare Kids Konnection at 209 Oak Street had roof and window damage and its playground along Sycamore Street was destroyed. “We had some volunteers in here from Tennessee helping and they were amazed with the recovery, and I am too,” said Skomp.