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CrossFit group springs into action to clean up Johnson County tornado damage

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — CrossFit gym friends in Johnson County gathered together to help pick up debris after a tornado damaged homes and property across the county on Sunday.

The unlikely group came about when Marci Newman asked her friends for help cleaning up a large amount of tree damage in her sister’s yard in Greenwood.

The group did not hesitate to spring into action and around a dozen people came out to volunteer to haul trees and use their skills from working out.

Newman was emotional talking about the kindness her family received.

“It’s just a really good crew and that’s just how CrossFit works and that community is awesome,” Newman said.

Newman and her husband have only known these people for a year and a half; they say the community they have built is irreplaceable.

“I just don’t have the words right now,” Newman said. “We owe them a lot. We haven’t known them for that long but it’s just a group of people that you can’t wait to see.”

Lita Marion is one of the CrossFit members. She says she was more than willing to lend a hand to a friend in need.

“My husband and I are school teachers so we’re off for the summer and I said, ‘Hey if you need help, let us come,’ and she said, ‘Other people said we’ll come to help,’ and so I texted her and said, ‘I’m serious we have nothing to do tomorrow we’ll come help you,’” Marion said.

Newman says it has been emotional. Between the damage to her sister’s yard and her younger brother’s house, she is thankful her friends are willing to help him next.

“They really haven’t been able to do much yet because the powerlines have been over their cars and in their driveway,” Newman said.

Newman was full of gratitude for her friends after doing all of this work.

“Thank you,” Newman said. “You didn’t have to but you did and really I am not surprised at all.”

The group got most of the trees picked up but have to wait for the all-clear from the power company to move to Newman’s brother’s house.

Residents of Johnson and Monroe Counties can contact Indiana 211 to report damage from Sunday’s tornado. This will help the Indiana Department of Homeland Security determine damage estimates and determine the next course of action.

“Currently, only residents in Johnson and Monroe counties should utilize Indiana 211 for damage reports. Other counties should reach out to their local emergency manager. Agricultural damage should be reported to the Purdue Extension,” IDHS said in a release Monday.