MARTINSVILLE, IN- The shingles and bricks lying on the sidewalk in Martinsville are one of the first signs of Friday night’s storm.
“What the tornado did was lift the roof up off of its structure and then put it back down and knock over the steeple at the same time,” said Reverend John Erickson.
Officials say around 100 homes and numerous businesses suffered severe roof damage in the Friday night storm.
The rebuilding process is already beginning on Saturday starting with the First Presbyterian Church on East Washington Street.
Erickson says he believes it will take months for members to have service in the sanctuary again.
“But it is not terrible. We got lucky none of our stained-glass windows got hit, the pulpit is fine, our organ is fine, the Steinway piano is fine, but we do have a gaping hole in our sanctuary,” said Erickson.
Many people across the city say it came in a flash.
“It came so fast. It came through and we knew we were about to head out,” said Martinsville Fire Chief Kevin Greene.
Unfortunately, numerous renters and homeowners are having to find other places to sleep tonight.
“I heard the wind going crazy and as soon as I got the alert, me and my daughter, I picked her up and put her in the bathtub and I didn’t get out until I heard a knock from the fire department,” said Martinsville resident Jaeleigh Morris.
Saturday is just the beginning of a long rebuilding process for the city.
“We have been at it since about 3 a.m. and we have got about 100 phone calls and about 500 repairs to do tomorrow. If we are lucky we will get through most of it by Monday,” said CEO of Wes Knox & Sons Construction Wes Knox.
Chief Greene is asking residents to stay home if they can.
“Most importantly when they start getting power back on, there may be some lines down that could arc and people could get hurt,” said Greene.