In a matter of minutes a tornado swept through Daviess County and Washington on Sunday, leaving behind a massive mess. The good news was that despite the destruction, there were no reports of death or injury. Now that everyone has counted their fingers and toes, what remains is a huge cleanup of the debris left behind.
“We put crews to work almost immediately,” said President of the Daviess County Commissioners Tony Wichman.
“When the power was out, we were running fuel to the critical generators around the county and our highway department was out trying to open the roads.”
While the damage inside the city of Washington was concentrated along a narrow corridor that extended from the west side shopping center along Sycamore to Meridian Street, the damage in the county extended over several miles.
“It did damage out along Maysville Road, Clark Road, Old 50, Cindy Kay Drive, Daviess Drive, 11th Street Road and 21st Street Road,” said Wichman. “We estimate in the county there were 40 to 50 properties damaged and 12 to 15 of those may be beyond repair. I believe that as people look more closely there may be even more damage. I saw one house that at first looked fine, but the storm picked it up and moved it a couple of feet off of the foundation.”
The widespread destruction from the EF-2 tornado means county crews will be facing a lot of extra work helping residents get rid of the rubble and debris left behind. “We have declared a state of emergency,” said Wichman.
“For the next nine days we intend to have crews out in the damaged areas. We are asking people to get as much of that debris to the curb and we will haul it off.”
With volunteers coming into the county to help with cleanup, officials are urging people with damages to take advantage of the opportunity to get the work done now. “It will take us a little time to get this done,” said Wichman. “We’re going to work all we can to help people out.”