Cleanup begins in Beech Grove after tornado hits

Apartments already have tarps on roofs after a tornado hit the area Saturday evening. (WTHR Photo/Anna Carrera)
Beech Grove Damaged
Beech Grove Storm Damage
Beech Grove 9am update

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WTHR) — People in Beech Grove spent the day cleaning up after Saturday night's storms.

The National Weather Service says they believe an EF-1 tornado ripped through that community. People there say they're grateful, even despite all the damage.

On Sunday morning, crews were out with chainsaws, chopping up trees that fell during the storm. Families who live nearby walked around to see the damage done while they tried to stay safe the night before.

"It was scary," said Austin Dibbern, who lives in the Beech Meadow apartments. "Really scary, because we were all on the top floor."

Our Drone Cam 13 footage shows gaping holes in some of the top floor units at the apartment complex.

There is similar damage at the high school, which is nearby. The science academy was hardest hit.

The superintendent says their priorities for Sunday include seeing what kind of structural damage was done and covering the roof to make sure no more water gets inside. He says they still plan to be ready when school starts in six weeks.

Even after all this, Mayor Dennis Buckley says he's grateful.

"The great thing about all of this is that nobody got hurt," said Buckley. "We'll clean this up and these buildings will be rebuilt, so we'll come back stronger than ever, but it just takes a little time."

Organizers had to cancel a karting event they were planning to have at the high school on Sunday morning. They were hoping to have the Grand Prix of Beech Grove, which would have been the first of its kind in the city.

The drivers were part of the Southern Indiana Racing Association. Crews worked to clean up fencing and barriers that they had spent hours setting up on Saturday, some of which had been damaged by the tornado.

"We've probably got a half dozen pieces that are pretty well wadded up," said Terry Riggins, who lives in Anderson and brought some of the fencing. "I never thought I'd see a construction fence folded into a big 'U,' but there are a couple pieces over there that way."

City leaders still hope they can do the race someday when the weather's a little better.

"It might be the Grand Prix of Beech Grove, part 2, I don't know," said Buckley. "We'll see what happens."

Now people in who live in the area are focusing on the next thing.

"It's a good day to get it cleaned up," said Jason Dibbern, who is Austin's father. "A lot of people's houses are damaged right now and they don't have a place to stay."