JAY COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – On Saturday, friends and family members gathered to help a Jay County couple start cleaning after their home was extensively damaged in a possible tornado the previous day.
“I didn’t get much sleep last night,” said Matt Minnich, the homeowner. “It definitely feels a little overwhelming to see the amount of work that needs to get done but I’m blessed with a lot of friends and family that are showing up here this morning.”
Minnich, his wife Betsy and their four children were not home at the time of the storm, however, it tore off the home’s roof and bricks, popped out several of its windows, and destroyed the top half of its garage.
“Seeing it kind of gone, it was just kind of memories of what we went through to build it to live and here have our kids here,” said Betsy. “That same moment kind of helped me to realize, even though it’s gone, what remains is what’s important.”
With the help of friends and family, the Minnich’s plan is to clean up as much as they can and then cover everything with tarps and plastic to keep the water out. Matt said they’re still waiting to hear back from their insurance company.
“Then at some point, making a huge trash and burning it up because we got to get some sort of clearance, and where we want to see what the scope of everything is going to be,” said Betsy.
According to Betsy, their basement did not suffer any damage.
Despite the circumstances, the Minnich family considers themselves lucky.
“Two years ago my, my oldest daughter was sick for a week with a virus. It took them a couple days to identify it and it was a week of her on her breathing tube, wondering if she was gonna live,” said Matt. “I’d take a day of this or a month of it or six months over a week of that ever again.”
Betsy added that if her family was home at the time of the storm, their situation could have been much worse.
The Minnich’s plan to stay with family members until they figure out a long-term solution. They expect the clean up process to take a few months.