People in tornado-damaged areas grateful for holidays - WDRB 41 Louisville News

People in tornado-damaged areas grateful for holidays -- and homes

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Most families are happy to be home for the holidays --  but some in southern Indiana are happy just to have a home this holiday.

As Brian Sill of Pekin, Indiana explains, "All my windows were gone. Part of my roof was gone. The garage next door was totally gone...It was pretty much devastation, more than I had ever seen in my life."

The Sills live next door to where a family of five was killed by the March 2nd tornado.  WDRB News met his wife Joy this summer.  She was so focused on repair, she couldn't even break to take the children to the town's annual 4th of July celebration.

Brian Sill says, "It's rough.  It puts a toll on your relationship.  You don't know what to start with, where to finish. It just gets a little mind boggling on how to get back."

The Sill's hoped that they could get back to normal by Christmas.  Now that the presents are piled high and decorations are glowing, they made it.  "It finally has the feel of a home again," Brian Sill says.

Habitat for Humanity helped build 10 homes in one subdivision. The families just moved in Saturday.

Kelsey Guernsey wondered if she'd have a tree this year:  "My roof caved in and all the windows were busted, she says.  But her family put the tree up before they even unpacked all the boxes.  "At our old house we were like, what are we going to do?  Everything was questions and this answered it all."

For some, questions still remain.  There are families that haven't made it back, and holes where homes used to be.  But those who have returned to normal say they've already gotten their Christmas wish.  "I love it," Brian Sill says.  "It's awesome, we went from that little tornado house to here....I get to spend another Christmas with my wife and my kids and that's all that matters, we're together."

The southern Indiana tornadoes were part of an outbreak of more than 100 twisters reported in nine states.  Repair estimates topped $1.5 billion.

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