HENRYVILLE, IN (WAVE) - One year ago, those able were frozen in front of the TVs watching the frightening video show what an EF4 tornado left behind in Henryville.
While some people watched in disbelief, others were hiding in basements and bathtubs asking, "Was that really what I think it was?"
"I was at home on my porch watching the tornado go by from Memphis, and so I ran back inside and the news was saying how the school was destroyed," said Henryville High School student Tami Burgen.
The school, the gas station, the restaurant, and so many homes were destroyed that Henryville itself was destroyed.
"We were, like, the first ones here, and we had to help out," said Henryville High School student Jeremy Lambert. "We got shovels and flashlights and stuff to help out the town ‘cause we knew it was pretty bad. We went to different houses and, like, we looked underneath houses and stuff (to) make sure nobody was collapsed in the house. We yelled for people. We just did whatever we could just to help the first day."
There was and still is a lot of work to do.
Volunteers flooded the community from all over the country. New homes have been built and those that were repairable have been under construction. Henryville High School was rebuilt just five months after the tornado.
"I just can't believe it's been a year," said Lambert. "It's been a ride, it really has. It's amazing what they did in that amount of time… in that five months."
Although it's been a year, those in Henryville said it's hard to think 12 months have passed since the tornado.
"It doesn't feel like it should be here this soon, and the school looks great," said Burgen, "but as you look around, all the trees are gone, the houses are being built. It still looks a lot different."
With much left to do, the spirit and resilience of Henryville grows brighter every day.
"There's a great bunch of people in Henryville. They're great," said Sherman Sykes of Budroe's Bus Stop. "You can't keep looking back saying, ‘Well, I had this or I had that.' You gotta look forward and keep going."
"I think we've been doing a great job, and everyone's coming together and just really pulling for each other," said Burgen.
They're pulling for each other like a big family – one with 2,000 family members.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:02:03 GMT
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