Pekin residents cleaning up following deadly tornadoes - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Pekin residents cleaning up following deadly tornadoes

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB Fox 41)---In the small town of New Pekin, Indiana there's a lot to clean up after an EF-4 tornado ripped through the area.

"It was really loud wind and I could feel the ground shaking," says Anna Spence, who survived the tornado.

Moments before, Anna Spence alerted employees across the street at Burnett Welding about the tornado warning. 

"They were out there welding and they didn't have the radio on or anything. I said, you guys need to take cover," says Anna Spence.

They did. So did Anna.

The tornado spared her home, but broke her windows, and took part of her roof and ceiling.

When she went outside, that's when she noticed all the damage around her. Her neighbor's roof was gone, and the business located next to the home, a lumber yard was destroyed.

From lumber drilled into the ground, overturned vehicles, twisted metal, and homes and businesses now gone, the damage is hard to miss.

"It's hard to put into words. It's just shocking," says John Mishler, a Washington County Commissioner.

Four people in Pekin lost their lives in the tornado. A dozen others were transported to the hospital.

Nearly 150 homes, 2 churches, and 8 businesses were either damaged or destroyed

"It takes an emotional toll on the community, but we'll bounce back," says John Mishler.

There's a lot of work to still be done, but it's moments like this that can bring people together.

"I really appreciate what all the people have done. It's just been a tremendous amount of help and cooperation we've received," says Washington County Sheriff Claude Combs.

For survivors, it was a frightening ordeal that they won't soon forget.

"Very, very lucky. Thank God he spared me, because it could have been a lot worse," says Anna Spence.

Sheriff Claude Combs says they spent most of Saturday clearing power lines and debris from the roads.

Anyone wanting to help those impacted from the Pekin area can contact the United Methodist Church in Pekin.

Copyright 2011 WDRB News.  All Rights Reserved.

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