NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (December 24, 2015) - The National Weather Service confirmed Thursday it was an EF-1 tornado that touched down in Noblesville Wednesday that left behind a trail of destruction.
16 homes were left damaged and an entire neighborhood was impacted. Three families could not spend Christmas Eve at home. The tornado reportedly lasted all of 60 seconds; in that time though it managed to rip apart a tight nit Noblesville community.
“We didn’t even know it happened. We didn’t hear a thing,” said Charlie Hagelskamp, a neighbor who lives in the Twin Oaks neighborhood in Noblesville.
“I didn’t even know that any of this happened, I just thought it was storming and raining,” said his son Luke.
The Hagelskamps spent their Christmas Eve morning helping their neighbors who are left now, without a place to live.
“Debris everywhere, the house over here with the roof missing, and then the one with the whole in the side that a car could drive through that one was really shocking,” said Hagelskamp.
A tornado left the Twin Oaks neighborhood at 161st and Seminole in Noblesville near destroyed. The National Weather Service estimated winds in excess of 100 miles an hour ripped apart four Noblesville city blocks and left behind piles of debris and 16 homes with damage.
“It’s always sad, here we are, it’s Christmas Eve, this happened two days before Christmas, that’s hard. But we are very fortunate that it wasn’t worse. It could’ve been so much worse,” said Erin Rowe, Executive Director of the Hamilton County Department of Emergency Management.
But even when buildings have fallen apart, the neighborhood somehow, grew stronger.
“When we drove through here and saw the houses, we were grateful that we didn’t get hit and we thought that we’d help the people that live in this community,” said Dawn Boyer.
Boyer lives a little ways away from Twin Oaks. She had to postpone her Christmas Eve plans to help.
“We were heading to Christmas at my parents’ and we called them and said that a tornado had come and hit one of our neighborhoods and we want to help clean up and so we’ll be a little bit late getting there today,” she said.
“It’s devastating for these families but hopefully they can have a Merry Christmas,” said Brody Plantenberg.
The Christmas cleanup was spearheaded in part by a crew from a local Home Depot that Plantenberg led. The group spent the day patching holes and fixing roofs so the holiday could still be salvaged.
“We’ll be out here as long as they need our help and then I gave them our cell phone numbers and if they need to call us over the weekend to bring more product out to donate or if they just need our assistance with cleanup or any renovations, we’ll come out and help,” he said.
Even with a confirmed tornado, there was no disaster declaration in Noblesville, which means damage repairs will have to be covered by homeowners. The county, state, and federal government will likely not provide any assistance.
Cleanup for this community will likely continue for weeks if not months to come.