Southern Indiana family loses everything in EF-1 tornado

Southern Indiana family loses everything in EF-1 tornado
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 10:33 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For some families up in Jefferson County, Indiana, Friday’s weather was more than a windstorm.

Several cars, buildings, properties, among other things were all destroyed within minutes because of an EF-1 tornado.

Uprooted trees and piles of debris were spread out across Michael Farmer’s property in Hanover. The piles were filled with memories and other cherished items.

Days after the tornado ripped through a section of Jefferson County, families like the Farmers are still assessing the damage.

“We’ve lost about everything,” Farmer said.

Farmer, his wife and daughter were all at home when the tornado hit around 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. They were hiding in the hall when the glass in the front of their house exploded.

“A lot of people say, they’ve asked, did you hear a train?,” Farmer said. “Did you hear this? It just sounded like wind picking up getting heavier and heavier, stronger and stronger. Eventually, everything gave.”

The family ran to take cover in the crawl space, except for one family member.

“My wife was a little upset that our dog didn’t want to go down in the crawl space hole,” Farmer said. “It was pretty important that we take care of another family member so to say, and get him taken care of him as well. By the time I really got a hold of his collar and got him back to the hole, it was over. It lasted probably three minutes.”

No one in the family was hurt, including Farmer’s other daughter, who was at a friend’s house.

That also includes their three outdoor cats and a tough chicken who survived its coop collapsing on top of it.

Despite losing just about everything they own, Farmer has a positive outlook on things.

“I didn’t lose anything important to me other than materials that can be replaced,” Farmer said.

Farmer said about 70 people from the community showed up right after the tornado hit to offer their support.

“They’ve helped so much,” Farmer said. “They’ve brought food, my daughters didn’t have clothes right at the moment, and they’ve kept them clothed. We’ve been taken care of, and we’re very appreciative of it.”

They spent the day cleaning up and starting the long road to recovery. The family is renting out an Airbnb until they can move into a rental home.

Farmer said it’ll be at least a year before they can get back to normal.

“You can’t get too bent out of shape, it’s hard to deal with, but at the same time, we’ll move forward as a community. It’s just life.”

To donate to the family’s GoFundMe, click or tap here.