By: Brandi Brubaker
Sunday afternoon, a storm blew through Illinois that changed Goshen alumnus Mike Zehr’s life – and not for the better. Zehr’s home was destroyed by one of the 16 tornadoes that touched down in Illinois and northwest Indiana over the weekend; the tornado blew through the house as he and his family huddled in the basement.
Despite the immense loss his family now faces, Zehr reached out to family and friends on Facebook, thanking them for their support and prayers.
“I haven’t had the time to respond to people individually, but do know that I have been feeling your love and support,” said Zehr, in a status posted Sunday. “I feel humbled by the destructive power of Mother Nature, but even more so by the incredible depth of human compassion that has been so evident all around me today.”
Zehr continued the post by reminding others of the people suffering in the Philippines. “Empathy is a powerful emotion, so let us all continue to help each other,” added Zehr.
Also affected by the storm were small group houses, particularly Hospital House. House member Jenna Nofziger was in the house when it lost power for three hours.
“I had always assumed that the college-owned houses would be on the school’s generator, but this is not the case,” said Nofziger. “Hopefully too many winter storms don’t roll in, because it’s not as convenient to go to campus to have power.”
Nofziger and other house members brought up some nostalgia as they ended up in the connector to access the Internet.
“We seniors don’t frequent that neck of the woods too often,” said Nofziger.
A recent article from the Elkhart Truth stated that as many as 2,000 people were affected by a loss of power in Elkhart County.
Current junior Rachel Smucker was running with some friends Sunday afternoon, and got caught in the storm on her way back to campus.
“We were about a mile and a half away, and it started pouring,” said Smucker. “People were yelling from their porches about a tornado warning, but we decided to just keep going.”
Despite the potential danger of being outside during stormy weather, Smucker does not regret the experience. “I thought it was exhilarating!”