Tales from the storm

REPUBLIC – When Adams Township resident Jodi Renwand was visiting Amish country July 6, she saw a sign with a saying she liked. She didn’t realize she was going to live the saying five days later.

It explained, sometimes, God calms the storm, and sometimes, he calms his child in the storm.

Renwand said the house at 3081 N. SR 18 that was destroyed in Wednesday’s storm was her great-grandparents’, and six generations of her family had lived there.

“Thank God (my daughter and granddaughter) moved out and found their own place in November,” she said.

Renwand was home when Wednesday’s storm hit the area. She said an earlier storm resulted in horizontal treetops and a little hail, and she was taking photos of things in the yard.

“It was a mess,” she said.

Renwand said she was trying to get limbs off the road and heard a freight train.

The only thing she saw in the sky was a gray color and headed to the basement.

“(I) felt the house twist above me,” she said.

A maple tree had hit a walnut tree, which hit a locust tree, and Renwand heard branches hit the roof.

“I’m down there praying the whole time,” she said.

Renwand said she called 911.

“I finally got upstairs and there’s rain blowing 16 feet into my house,” she said.

A wall had split open, and a tree still was on it. Renwand said there was damage everywhere, and her house was destroyed.

A chicken coop had flipped at least twice and landed on the front door, and her chickens were wet but unharmed.

“There was not a hair out of place on any animal,” she said.

Renwand expressed appreciation for family, neighbors, her boyfriend and construction and excavating companies.

Jean and Dick Miller, who live at 13004 E. TR 8, Republic, now have experienced two tornadoes in their lifetime.

The first tornado hit April 11, 1965. The family lived back a long lane in an octagon house that was more than 100 years old.

“We were completely wiped out,” Jean said.

Jean said her daughter was upstairs when the tornado hit. The storm destroyed her room and also took out porches and huge barns and buildings.

“It destroyed everything,” she said.

Jean’s daughter was picked up out of the upstairs and was deposited 40 feet from the house. Jean said her daughter had a minor concussion but survived.

The family rebuilt on the same property, known as Pine Grove Farm, and included a tornado shelter in the project.

“We came back here,” Jean said.

This week, the house survived the storm, but trees and a lane were damaged.

Jean said a group of five people was driving home from Lakeside this week and pulled off on SR 4 when the storm hit. They were pelted by hail, and the vehicle was parked between two barns and some trees.

“We just sat there because the person driving couldn’t see. … We got to Siam and got really held up by a train,” she said.

When they were traveling again, the wind started shaking the car. They again pulled off the roadway but had to move due to pieces coming off of barns at a fertilizer plant.

Jean recalled unbuckling her seatbelt and putting her head down. She said she had been cut by glass in the previous tornado.

“It was like it all over again,” she said.

This week’s storm resulted in tree damage on the property, but the house was unharmed.