Community optimistic, moving forward after tornadoes

Evansville meeting
Posted at 12:38 PM, Feb 12, 2024

EVANSVILLE — Dozens of displaced Evansville residents gathered inside the fire department Friday night, to learn what resources were available to help them through a tumultuous time.

Friday morning's first light brought the first look of devastation across the rural landscape of Evansville. While the damage from the tornadoes tore through mostly farmland, for the few who were impacted it has upended their lives.

"It's a disaster," Ron Arndt said. "It's all gone."

"We're here to find out what we can do to help everybody and get everybody back on the right path," Dave Viney with the Town of Porter said.

"It's just incredible to see a community come together," Kevin Wernet, Director of Rock County Emergency Management said. "Especially during this stressful time."

Wernet spoke to the group for about an hour, fielding questions from the tired and weary residents. Exhausted by the devastation, yet grateful there were no major tragedies.

"For us to get through this with very minor, very minimal and minor injuries is a blessing for the whole community," Capt. Mark Thompson with the Rock County Sheriff's Dept. said.

Wernet says they have surveyed 25 homes. One was destroyed and eleven were dealing with major damage. But everyone, with breath in their lungs.

"I didn't get any damage but it sure makes you think about things that you never know when it could be you next," David Hagen said.

Hagen has been in the area for years. He's grateful he's not dealing with any devastating damage but wants to be there for his neighbors in their times of need.

"You got to kind of thank the lord that you're one of the lucky ones, I guess," Hagen said.

A small building block for this community to keep moving forward through the storm.