HENRYVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Hundreds of volunteers converged Monday on a southern Indiana town devastated by a March tornado outbreak for a week long building blitz to erect 10 new homes.
Despite chilly weather, work got under way Monday morning in Henryville, an unincorporated town about 20 miles north of Louisville, Ky., that was hit by two tornadoes on a day when storms killed 13 people in southern Indiana.
Gina Leckron, director of Habitat for Humanity of Indiana, told WDRB-TV that even though the homes are being built on an accelerated timetable, they can't be done soon enough for Henryville residents who have been waiting more than six months for permanent housing.
"So we are tickled that we can try to accelerate what we are doing so we can help them quicker and they can have a good holiday in their new homes," Leckron said.
WHAS-TV reports that more than 200 volunteers are in Henryville to help with the rebuilding effort in the town's Twin Oaks subdivision. The volunteers, some from as far away as Florida and Iowa, gathered under a large tent surrounded by roof trusses, lumber and other construction supplies for a meeting before beginning work.
Henryville residents who lost their homes in the storms are working alongside volunteers to build the single-story houses with attached garages.
Organizers expect to have the exteriors finished by the end of the week. The plan is to have the homes completed and ready for families by Christmas.
Lowe's gave a $100,000 grant to New Albany-Floyd County Habitat for Humanity to support the construction project. Organizers said that all but one of the 10 homes have already been paid for.
Seven volunteers and staffers with the Greater Muncie Habitat for Humanity are helping with the rebuilding, said Jason Haney, the group's field operations manager.
"You can't help but be inspired with something like this," he told the Star Press. "... This provides the motivation to keep on going. This rejuvenates you."
Online: Habitat for Humanity-Indiana: http://www.habitatindiana.org