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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Family loses historic barn to Wednesday storms

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A barn, which stood on the property of Sam and Sonya Weaver since the late 1800s, was destroyed following high wind damage during Wednesday evening storms. [Order this photo]

Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) informed The Brazil Times Friday they have been in the area investigating damages to infrastructure only, not to assess damages homeowners suffered from recent storms.

While few county residents have reported damage regarding storms that blasted through the Wabash Valley Wednesday evening, one Clay County family lost an heirloom.

Sam and Sonya Weaver, who live on Kennedy's Crossing Road, lost a barn, which they said had stood on the property since the late 1800s.

Sam told The Brazil Times he has lived on the property since 1996, but his father, Tim, had lived on the property before for several years.

"It was like one great big burst of wind, then it was all over," Sam said. "I kind of thought, for a second, that we were going to lose the house."

Sam used the barn to house 4-H pigs and rabbits. All the animals in the barn were OK, he said.

He said the main frame of the barn was still intact. However, the roof was completely blown off, giving him reason to believe it was not salvageable.

He said the event took place sometime between 9:30-10 p.m., Wednesday evening.

"I thought it was straight line winds," he said. "The way it hit, it seemed like a big burst of straight line winds."

Sam added some shingles on their home came loose, but their home was still intact.

He said immediately following the storm, he called neighbors to see if they had any damage, of which they reported none.

Shortly after waking up Thursday morning, he looked across to a wheat field he farms and saw what looked like a path straight through the field.

Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband told The Brazil Times Thursday he had stayed in contact with other county emergency officials throughout the storm and heard little damage took place.

"I drove up the highway and I didn't see anything," Husband said. "I didn't travel all the roads, but I checked with (Clay County Dispatch) last night and this morning and nothing has been reported as of yet.

"When it first came through the way it was roaring, I'd say I was worried. It looked bad. It started out with a lot of force, but then it leveled off."

Husband said he managed to visit the Weaver home to check the damage to the barn, saying it appeared to be wind that caused the roof to blow off.

Husband said a representative with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) was in Clay County Wednesday regarding those in need of assistance through the agency's Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program.

Husband said those who have suffered storm damages since April should contact his office at 448-8400 or Brazil City Planning and Zoning Administrator Stacy Gibbens at 443-2221 for more information.

Where to get help

TERRE HAUTE -- The American Red Cross is prepared to open shelters following Wednesday's storms, which swept through the Wabash Valley.

People living in Clay, Greene, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan or Vermillion counties in Indiana, or Edgar County in Illinois needing shelter due to damage from the storms are encouraged to call the Wabash Valley Chapter at 812-232-3393.

People living in Vigo County needing shelter are encouraged to come to the chapter, located at 700 S. Third St., Terre Haute. The chapter is currently serving as a shelter site.

All open Red Cross shelters can be located at www.redcross.org. Open Red Cross shelters may also be located on iPods or iPhones by searching for Red Cross through the ap store.

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