Eastbrook: 20 Lives, 100 Homes Gone - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Eastbrook: 20 Lives, 100 Homes Gone

Reporter: Kim Dacey
New Media Producer: Rachel Chambliss

The hardest hit area was the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park where more than 100 homes were destroyed and 20 lives lost.

Kim Dacey was one of the first to arrive at Eastbrook after the tornado. She returned to the scene on Monday to see the difference one year makes.

Kim describes, "There used to be homes on each of the lots in the back part of the mobile home park, but the tornado wiped them clean. A few physical reminders are still here, but what happened a year ago Monday morning is still very vivid in the minds of the survivors."

Dale Naylor, Knight Township Assistant Fire Chief, says, "It was just total chaos!"

Sierra Hawkins, a former resident, recalls, "We couldn't find the kids at all. It seemed like forever, but maybe ten minutes later, we started hearing screams."

The morning of November 6, 2005, the sun rose on Eastbrook Mobile Home Park and shed light on what the tornado left behind. It was the biggest natural disaster to hit Indiana in more three decades.

One child killed was 2-year-old C.J. Martin.

"We miss him; there's no way to describe how much. He was a huge part of our lives. And when we found out that morning that he didn't survive, that was probably the biggest blow because we really thought that they'd all be ok," says Kathryn Martin.

The first of many blows for residents of Eastbrook. Families, homes and lives were destroyed in an instant.

Hawkins states, "I remember a little boy walking up to me, and he was crying and wanted help; there's really nothing you could do."

And the rescue workers felt just as helpless that morning.

"We're still struggling. Its been a year, but there's some memories that people have a hard time getting by," says firefighter Dale Naylor. He was one of the first on the scene.

Those rescue workers talk to each other and look to the survivors of the tragedy for help and inspiration as they move on with their lives - thankful for what they have left.

Hawkins says, "I'm worried about the people that didn't make it. Why were we blessed? Why were we the fortunate that got to survive? And it's just real hard."

Residents say Eastbrook just hasn't been the same since November 6 of last year.

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