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Kokomo neighbors react to devastating tornado that struck three years ago this month

While the damage has been repaired, many community members are still seeing its effect.

Posted: Aug 24, 2019 9:16 PM
Updated: Aug 25, 2019 11:28 AM

KOKOMO, Ind. (WLFI) — August 24, 2019 marks three years since a tornado struck and devastated several homes in Kokomo.

While the damage has been repaired, many community members are still seeing its effect.

“Three years later, yeah God is good,” said Mark Ross, a Kokomo resident who lost his home after the tornado.

Mark and his wife Marcea Ross say they'll never forget the day.

“A tornado went through Kokomo and a girlfriend called me and told me that my house had got hit by the tornado so I called my husband at work and my husband came,” said Marcea.

She and her husband arrived home, or at least what was left of it.

“It was like a war zone. It was debris everywhere. The house was torn up. My neighbors' houses were torn up. it was people everywhere. It was just scattered. It was like everybody was in aw,” said Mark.

Weather services at the time ranked the tornado as an EF3 in severity and damage. Just two stages away from the highest, most extreme tornado ranking.

“I never went through anything like this,” said Mark. “It was the first time and it was just devastating but we had a lot of help.”

The Rosses say, community members, outreach programs and churches stepped in right away to offer their services as the city worked on rebuilding.

Jerry McQuinn is still reminded of the terrible storm when he looks at the limb trees and bent wired fence behind his apartment complex. His apartment wasn’t hit as hard the buildings on both sides of his.

“The building on either side of me, they had to leave because the roofs were blown off,” said McQuinn. “The buildings were deemed unsafe, the parts of the roof were gone and those people I don't know where they went. Some of them, well they didn't have a lot of money.”

He said he's grateful the tornado passed over his apartment.

“It didn't do great damage as it did on these other two buildings on either side of me and I really don't know how it happened,” said McQuinn.

The Rosses say this storm has brought them a new sense of alertness.

“Every time it rains, every time it storms, we are ready to go to our neighbors and hit our basement,” said Marcea. “Because we don't have a basement... like I said, it was devastating and everybody, we try to be on alert to make sure and we have out radios on and everything and listening to the weather channel and make sure we're okay,” said Mark.

Despite the severity of the tornado's damage, there were few injuries and no fatalities.

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