Rescue, recovery efforts continue in Henryville
Rescue efforts continue in several southern Indiana counties ravaged by tornadoes Friday afternoon.
Emergency crews from several surrounding counties line the streets in Henryville, with rescue crews combing through the storm damage, searching for victims. Those residents whose homes were not totally destroyed by the storms are boarding up windows.
"We have formed search teams and we are searching all those areas, looking for people that may be trapped inside their homes or trapped in crashes on the side of the road," said ISP Sgt. Jerry Goodin.
Goodin said crews are working in a grid to search any county road that has a home. He said police are still in "full search mode," looking for those victims that may be missing or trapped. Homes that are searched are being marked with a spray painted checkmark when they are cleared.
Henryville High School was severely damaged in the storm. School had let out for the day, but some students and staff were still inside when the storm hit. Those left inside were later rescued by emergency crews.
One family saw the storm coming and hid in a hallway at their home with a mattress covering their head. They told Eyewitness News they could feel the storm trying to pull them up through the roof.
"I could actually feel the wind sucking at me," said Ernie Hall. "A loud roar and stuff in the attic was just beating and pounding all over the place."
Several families have been reunited in the streets of Henryville, as people drove in from outlying areas, looking for friends and family members. A young girl was also seen walking the streets, searching for her parents.
"Mother Nature unleashed her fury on us, but we've got good people here southern Indiana and we're going to get through it," Goodin said. "What we do know is, we've got complete destruction."
"I seen it on TV, where it hit Alabama, Illinois, Missouri and there's nothing left. Then you walk out in your backyard and that's what's there. What do you say?" Hall said.
Shelter, HQ moved
The Red Cross shelter for Clark County residents is being moved from Charlestown High School to Country Lake Christian Retreat in nearby Underwood. The retreat has 300 beds and electricity. Officials will provide shuttles from the Monroe Township Fire Department to the retreat for those people who can't make it on their own.
Police are also moving their headquarters from a church in Henryville to the Monroe Township Fire Department. Those people looking for a missing person from Clark County are asked to now go to the fire department to let authorities help them search.
Those who are searching for someone in the other affected counties are asked to visit the website SafeandWell.org. Those people who are looking for a missing friend or family member can check that site for information, while those who are safe, but relocated can also connect with those looking for them.
Police also say they have plenty of help and don't need any more at this time. They say the area is in a state of emergency and anyone who comes to Henryville will just be turned away.
Governor Mitch Daniels will visit the area Saturday morning, his office announced Friday. The governor did not want to interrupt rescue and recovery efforts in the area Friday night.
WTHR Cares - Red Cross donations
The Red Cross is encouraging people who want to help to make a financial donation.
People can help those affected by disasters like the Midwest tornadoes and storms, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Contributions may also be sent to someone's local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Contributions enable the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.