AKRON — B.J. Hunt lost his house to a tornado that swept through much of Miami County on Monday night, May 27. Yet while standing next to the remains of his home, Hunt was humble and grateful.
“So many people, not just family and friends, have shown up to help out,” said Hunt. “I’ve gone up to a couple people here and asked, ‘Do I know you?’ And the answer was no.”
Hunt’s house, located near North CR 100W and West CR 1500N in Akron, was destroyed, with only a few standing walls to a singular room and a refrigerator left standing among the debris scattered everywhere. A white truck at the property was flipped onto its side during the tornado and dozens of trees were snapped in half.
“The trees are going to remind me of what happened here,” said Hunt. “They’ll be that lasting reminder. But we’ll rebuild right here. Absolutely.”
According to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, the northern part of the county near CR 1500N and CR 25W sustained the most damage in the tornado. Several homes, structures and a 765,000-volt transmission line were damaged.
Hunt was in the house with his dogs when the tornado happened. He and his dogs were not injured in the storm. As of Tuesday morning, the sheriff’s office was not aware of any injuries.
“You know, I don’t usually get scared very often, but being in the middle of that tornado frightened me,” said Hunt. “Fifteen seconds felt like five minutes.”
A meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in North Webster said crews were surveying the storm damage near Akron and in Grant County, which also sustained storm damage Sunday night. Surveying the Akron damage will provide details on the size of the tornado and wind speed associated with the storm.
The storms were part of a wider, turbulent system across the nation’s midsection that is suspected of causing more than 50 tornadoes, including a preliminary estimate of 23 tornadoes in Indiana and Ohio, according to the Storm Prediction Center for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
Until rebuilding can begin, Hunt and his family will be staying at their church’s parsonage.
“We lost pretty much everything, I mean, right now I’m wearing my brother-in-law’s clothes,” said Hunt. “And my wife is 13 weeks pregnant, and we just got done doing the baby’s room. But I’m taking what happened here and finding something good in it. People are here helping out, smiling, and making a good time out of it. This has all really been a humbling experience.”