Tornado tears apart family farm, neighbors quick to offer help

Tornado tears apart family farm
Posted at 9:36 AM, Feb 12, 2024

EVANSVILLE — Siblings Christine Sendelbach and Corky Neunnschwander found themselves managing the aftermath of something they could hardly wrap their heads around Friday, a tornado in February.

A twister the night before tore through their family home, turning a trailer and farm sprayer upside down. Thursday, the sprayer went flying out of a shed no longer standing.

“We hightailed it over here and I just couldn’t believe it,” Sendelbach said. “My dad he built that tool shop, and he was 91 when he passed away and he lived every day in there."

She said what made the loss more bearable was knowing her daughter, who was just yards away in her basement when it hit, was safe.

Still, they are trying to recover what they can. Three grain bins filled with corn, although without roofs and holes leaking, were one of the few things that remained on her family’s farm.

“Our neighbor saw the roofs going so [my husband] wants to get the grain out of there as fast as we can,” she said. “If it rains it’ll get swollen, it’ll start rotting.”

In their race to save the corn, Sendelbach said they have at least one thing going for them: a list of neighbors and friends quickly lining up to offer their support.

“I guess a person doesn’t really realize how many friends you have until they start offering to help you clean up,” Neunnschwander said.

It’s the kind of help the siblings themselves, in the midst of their own struggle have already given their neighbors, like lending a hand for one trying to save his cattle.

Sendelbach said standing together through this kind of devastation is simply what farmers so.