Probable Tornado Levels Homes in Eaton County

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

"This was my 3-car garage," Bob Bailey says, as he points to a slab of concrete. Inside what was his house on Benton Road, his wife Donna and the kids in her daycare took cover in the nick of time. They all huddled into the basement as the storm blew through. Winds blew a door into her.

When the storm had passed, the children were lifted through a basement window to safety.

"My daughter is concerned about where she's going to go to daycare on Monday," mom Sarah Morgan says. "I don't know what we'd do without her," she says of Donna.

Inside the house, Charlotte football players helped clean up. Their first football game of the season was cancelled.

Across the street--and the flattened corn fields--a brand new home is no more than a foundation. Boats and propane tanks in a destroyed pole barn were tossed like toys.

"I looked up all you can see was stuff flying," Charles Richey says. He rode out the storm in his truck on Vermontville Highway. "I thought I better kiss my rear end goodbye."

That stuff he saw was likely a barn's roof, and the upstairs from Betty Speaks 150-year-old brick home.

"Just heard it crackling and I knew the house was falling down. There was dust everywhere," Speaks says. "No way I could get out of the house."

Fire crews did get her out--along with many of her neighbors. Many houses and several barns on the block were destroyed.

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