Mellott still cleaning up after November tornado

Mellott tornado damage (Provided Photo/ WLFI)

MELLOTT, Ind. (WLFI) –  Hubert Seabolt said he felt overwhelmed as he stood and looked at the unrepaired damage to his Mellott home.

“It’s emptiness, I don’t know how to cope with it,” said Seabolt.

Seabolt didn’t have insurance on his home when it was damaged by a tornado on Nov. 17. Now almost four months later, he and the rest of the town of almost 300 people are still trying to cleanup.

“We don’t know which way to turn, who to turn to, we called everybody we can because we don’t have that kind of money to get this stuff done out here, but we’re doing the best we can,” said Seabolt.

Town clerk and treasurer Vickie Austin said nearly everyone suffered some sort of damage to their homes. Although it may not look like much has been done, she said the Red Cross and Salvation Army as well as volunteers from surrounding areas have been a huge help, our sister station WLFI reports.

“The people have all been great. They’ve worked together well, so all that kind of stuff has been good. It’s just that there’s a lot to clean up still,” said Austin.

Fire Chief Walter Seymore said the extreme cold and heavy snow halted the cleanup effort.

“The weather ain’t been fit. It’s been cold and snowy and you can’t, well, work real good,” said Seymore.

As the weather breaks, Austin said the outpouring of support through donations has been amazing. Though some still struggle to rebuild, she believes the struggle has brought the town closer together.

“I think it did bring people a little closer together, and people are more willing to help each other out,” said Austin.

Seabolt is also grateful for the support of volunteers. He is hopeful that with more support, he will have his home back the way it once was.

“It still needs a lot of work, but we’ll get there. We’ll get there,” said Seabolt.

No one in Mellott was seriously injured in the Nov. 17 tornado. The residents said they are looking forward to the warmer weather so they can finish clearing the debris and pick up the pieces in their home town.

Donations to help Mellott residents who are still in need can be made at any Fountain Trust Bank location in care of the Mellott Tornado Relief Fund. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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