Community cleaning up after severe storm
AKRON, Ind. –
Cleanup continues near southern Fulton County where a tornado hit Monday night.
Some roads are still blocked from a downed transmission line, trees are still being removed and pieces of debris picked up.
For many farmers in the area the storm damage is an added stress to an already stressful start to the year.
“It seems like it takes about four days to dry the ground out. And it rains every third day or second day so you just can’t get in there,” said Darrell Shewman, a farmer who lives near Akron but has farm land throughout Fulton County.
The amount of rainfall so far has stopped Shewman and other farmers from planting.
“This is probably the worst I’ve seen,” said Shewman. “I’m in my 50s and this is the worst I’ve seen as far as getting it done.”
And now some farmers like Shewman are having to shift their focus to ripped off roofs or damaged land from Mondays storm.
“We’re fortunate,” said Shewman, “There’s people a lot less fortunate than what we were right here.”
Shewman lost the roof on his barn, but others did see worse. Just a few miles away Matt Calcutt has a tarp over his roof after losing shingles.
“I knew there was going to be damage but I didn’t expect it to be this bad,” said Calcutt. “Walked out of the basement and saw that the pole barn was gone, the house was tore up, trees were down everywhere, the roads were blocked.”
And the roads are still blocked on one side of him due to downed transmission lines. Crews were working all day Wednesday to get things cleared.
And across the road another farmer has suffered from severe damage.
“That’s a dairy farm straight north of us there,” said Calutt. The biggest ordeal was getting their livestock out of there.”
The farm has damage to the home, the barn and some animals were hurt according to Calcutt.
All of the cleanup is just added stress for these farmers already struggling to make ends meet.
“We’ll be putting in some overtime,” said Shewman, who says he fully expects to be working long days once the rain finally does stop. “Weather like today it would dry up and we could get back at it maybe in two days. But there’s more coming Thursday and more coming Saturday so you just hang in there and do what you can do.”
Some farmers said this is the farthest behind they’ve ever been in their careers. Planting for some was complete by May 5 last year, but many have only around half of their land planted now.