Sen. Coats issues statement on 1-year anniversary of tornadoes
WASHINGTON (FOX19) -
Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today issued the following statement today in
advance of the one year anniversary of the fatal storm that hit southern
Indiana on March 2, 2012:
weekend marks one year since a violent tornado struck southern Indiana killing
11 people and forever changing the lives of many Hoosiers. Immediately
following the storm, I toured the damage with local officials and visited with
Hoosiers impacted by the tragic event.
I witnessed will be etched in my mind for the rest of my life.
saw nearly a 50 mile-long strip of land, a quarter to a half-mile wide, with
everything in its path completely destroyed. Every home and business reduced to
rubble. Every open field strewn with debris, some carried for miles before
deposit. Every tree stripped bare or flattened.
car or truck damaged by softball sized hail or turned upside down by 175 mph
winds. A house miraculously still intact in the distance, but picked up and
moved 100 yards east of its foundation. Small rural towns completely destroyed
by Mother Nature's unforgiving force.
high school of more than 1,100 students was in shambles. Buses and cars hurled
into buildings across the street. An entire family was torn apart because the
tornado arrived seconds before they were able to reach their basement.
yet among these devastating images, what stuck with me the most were the
countless stories of heroism, generosity and resolve of the people of Indiana.
The two school bus drivers who made a split second decision to turn around and
get the kids off the bus and into a shelter. The buses were destroyed minutes
police, fire and rescue teams rushed toward danger. Neighbors ran to help the
injured. Citizens from nearby towns and counties offered food and shelter for
the victims. Former strangers became immediate friends.
remember seeing an American flag planted among the debris as displaced
homeowners were picking through the ruins, hoping to recover lost memories and
precious keepsakes. As I surveyed these scenes one year ago, I felt deeply
moved by the unbreakable American spirit – a spirit so alive and strong in
Indiana at a time of tragedy.
will never be able to replace the precious lives lost from Mother's Nature's
destruction, but Hoosiers proved that they will always come together in times
of trial to help each other rebuild one day at a time. It's the Hoosier way and
it is something we can all be proud of on this somber anniversary."
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:46 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:46:12 GMT
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