People Sift Through The Rubble They Used To Call "Home"

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

"When you watch TV and see the disasters from the war, that's exactly how I felt when I walked up in front of my house yesterday," says Potterville resident Barbara Culp.

That's because Culp's house is gone, one of the structural casualties of Friday's tornado. Culp was out of town when it happened; a stroke of luck, she says, amongst all the misfortune.

"If we'd been here, you'd be reading my obituary in the paper," she says.

The Culps' house on Vermontville Highway is undoubtedly the worst hit on the block. Nothing but the foundation remains, and all their rooms are scattered in other people's yards. Culp says her bedrooms are across the street and her dining room is somewhere in a field.

"There's nothing there. Totally gone. One hundred percent gone," she says.

Neighbors on the same stretch of Vermontville Highway were sifting through the rubble they used to call "home" Sunday. "Do Not Enter" signs spraypainted on doors by police are not deterring people from surveying the land and mourning the loss of their cars, their clothes, their creature comforts.

But despite all the things missing from this block, one thing was present as ever: a marked sense of humor.

"What else can you do?" laughs Betty Speaks, whose more than 150-year-old two-floor home has been reduced to a one-floor shell.

Humor or not, the reality of this disaster is sinking in, and it doesn't feel good.

"Not in a million years. Not in a million years did I ever think anything like this would happen," says Culp.

But it did, and all they can do now is decide where to go from here.


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