On March 2nd, deadly tornadoes swept through the Midwest and Southeastern United States, killing at least 38 people and destroying homes an businesses. In southern Indiana, an EF-4 tornado stayed on the ground for more than 50 miles, completely destroying 200 homes and damaging 1,000 more. The Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA) estimates that 53% of all families affected are low income. The need for affordable housing in this region is tremendous.
As communities pull together to start the process of healing, cleaning up the debris and working with FEMA and insurance companies, Habitat for Humanity of Indiana has mobilized support from Habitat affiliates across the state and in nearby Louisville, Kentucky, to blitz build 19 homes in Henryville and the Madison area. These small towns suffered the full force of the 175 mph winds of the tornado.
Preparations are in full swing. Land for the nineteen homes has already been purchased. Ten of the homes will be constructed in Henryville on contiguous lots in the Twin Oaks sub-division, a mixed income development less than one mile from the destructive path of the tornado. Another nine houses will be built in Jefferson County on contiguous lots in the Madison area.
Habitat affiliates from every major city in Indiana will support the event with construction supervisors, tool trailer units and volunteers. Skilled volunteers from various habitat programs will support the pre-build and provide additional leadership to the event, constructing the exterior of 19 houses during our Blitz Build event, which will take place October 8th-12th. Inside finishing and landscaping will be completed by the middle of December, enabling 19 families that lost their homes in the tornado to celebrate the holidays in their new Habitat homes.