Area Residents Start Tornado Clean-up

By: Lauren Forsythe Email
By: Lauren Forsythe Email

Several area residents were out in the chilly weather Thursday cleaning up after several tornadoes swept through early yesterday morning, and one Smiths Grove woman is thankful to be alive.

When Marj Lemster walked outside Wednesday morning, it was a sight she never expected.

"It just looked like a war zone. It looked like what i imagined Bosnia would be, or Iraq or Afghanistan where everything is just blown up. It was just everywhere," she says.

She says it was the scariest five minutes of her life.

"We could just hear it getting stronger and stronger and stronger, and there was just nothing else we could do. We were just waiting for the house to explode," Lemster says.

The house wasn't flattened, but the tornado left severe damage to clean-up.

"They've been cutting up the trees and hauling them away making a big brush pile in the back so maybe we can eventually burn. That's been the first priority, getting the trees out of the way and getting that cut up. It's going to be a while before everything is cleared away," Lemster says.

She was without electricity until 3:30 Wednesday afternoon

"They worked really hard to get the electric back on that's what I, of course we didn't have any lights," she says.

"I'm sure some people did not think that they would have power restored as quickly as it was and the damage that I saw yesterday. They did a great job in getting all of that done, and whatever we've left out there, our guys are out there cleaning up today," says Warren RECC Director of Programs and Communications Rick Carroll.

For now, Lemster says minimal clean-up is all that can be done.

"Right now, we'll not do anything until spring as far as the yard is concerned. It can wait," she says, "We're just so thankful, I am just so thankful there's no damage in here. Nobody was hurt. Nobody was injured."

She says the clean-up process may take a while, but for now, Marj Lemster and her family are counting their blessings.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 tornado hit Smiths Grove.

5,000 area residents were without power yesterday.

Warren RECC says all power was restored by 7:30 last night.

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