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'We were just in awe ...'

Sunday, March 18, 2012

This is one of several photographs Clay County Emergency Mangement Director Bryan Husband took while in Henryville following a devastating storm earlier in March. [Order this photo]
Husband details mission to Henryville

Bryan Husband's line of work leads him down many paths, almost daily.

But a journey he recently undertook was one that left a profound impression on him.

Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband [Order this photo]
The Clay County Emergency Management Director, along with several others, recently traveled to southern Indiana to help with the cleanup following devastating storms that left more than a dozen dead.

"We were there seven days," Husband said. "We were just in awe."

Husband and the group went down per request from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). IDHS divided the state into several districts.

Clay County is in District 7. The District 7 Task Force Instant Management Team was the group that traveled to Clark County and specifically to Henryville. A total of eight counties make up the district, including Clay, Vermillion, Parke, Putnam, Vigo, Owen, Greene and Sullivan are in the district.

"The path of that storm was three blocks wide," he said, adding it affected a 19-mile area.

"Three days after (the storm), they still had no power. There were power lines scattered all over. We were just in awe of the damage the tornado caused."

During the storm, which took place March 2, a tornado -- classified as an F4 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale -- ripped through the area.

Only days after the severe storm, Husband and his crew made their journey to the area.

"Our job was to help plan and manage what needed to be managed," he said. "We were tasked with (green) debris management. We went down to help the county. Our job was to organize and manage debris removal as soon as possible."

By Tuesday, March 6, after only one day on the job, Husband, his crew and others estimated 1.2 million cubic yards of debris had been to be collected.

"We started moving debris Tuesday (March 6)," Husband told The Brazil Times. "By Wednesday (March 7), 1,760 loads -- or 810,000 cubic yards -- were moved. It was very exhausting."

Husband added members of the Terre Haute City Fire Department also made the journey.

"Our goal was to work hand-in-hand with the (Clark County Commissioners and Clark County Council)," Husband said.

Husband said while the task force has gone through many hours of training and has conducted "planned" events, the situation in Henryville was its first "true" event.

"The training took over," he said. "We had some good working people down there. It wasn't anything we were used to We sure felt for (the Henryville residents) down there. Some of them lost all they had."

After the District 7 Task Force Instant Management Team came home, another district crew headed to the area.

Husband said while power was restored to the area and the cleanup is ongoing, he was told things might not be back to "normal" for another 18 months.

But while there, Husband said he had an opportunity to speak with many of the residents, calling them all "resilient."

"It was, 'We're going to make it. We're going to band together,'" Husband said. "I was very impressed with that community. Everything was positive."

Times accepting donations

The Brazil Times is accepting donations for those affected by the severe weather in southern Indiana.

All money collected will go to the Red Cross's relief efforts.

The Times will accept donations in the form of checks made out to the Red Cross, or cash.

Those who donate more than $5 will receive, or be credited on their account, a free copy of The Times for that day.

Donations will be collected until March 30, and are being sent as they are received.

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-- Posted by car11 on Mon, Mar 19, 2012, at 11:45 PM

Nice article. Thank you to all who have helped, are helping, or will help in any way big or small. I'm sure it is much appreciated.

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Tue, Mar 20, 2012, at 1:31 PM

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