A strong storm hit Hope Saturday afternoon.  Bartholomew County Emergency Management maintains the storm was not a tornado, only straight line winds.  No tornado warning sirens were activated.  Bartholomew County will be coordinating with the Everbridge system to see why the siren in Hope was not activated. Ed Cottrell with the Hope Volunteer Fire Department felt the storm was a very weak F1 tornado; based on his forty-five years as a first responder.  Thankfully there were no injuries.  Chad Emmitt stated the department responded to eleven storm related calls, with a total of five hours dedicated to the response. There is currently no power at the fire station as they lack a backup generator.  Pastor Ed did note the Hope United Methodist Church is available in case of a severe storm.  He personally sought refuge in the basement.  The UMCOR global relief ministry site stood ready to deliver aid.  They are part of the Southeast district that covers Shelbyville, Seymour and Bartholomew County.  

Many Hope residents still did not have power as of Sunday afternoon May 22nd.  Duke Energy estimates power will be reinstated around noon on Monday.  Many local residents without generators or backups are concerned over losing the contents of their refrigerators and freezers.  Local resident Matthew Bruner had just purchased a whole hog and was concerned it may be lost.  

Damage to local trees was extensive.  Some of the 150 year old Norwegian spruce planted by the Reverend Francis Holland in 1877 were lost.  One narrowly missed the newly reconstructed gates leading to the cemetery.  A large fallen spruce is blocking the road near the Holland family plot. Ironically the Moravian church had just replanted his avenue of spruce.  Large trees were downed all over town, including on volunteer firefighter Randy Wood's home.

Many local residents were saddened over the "Jets" barn on Hartsville Pike. Flattened by the storm, it has stood as a landmark to generations of Hope Jets fans. Jake Miller stated, "Unfortunately that's the story of life, the only constant is change.  I'll never forget the joy and memories that old barn gave me." Dave Irvine has removed the jet sign for safekeeping.  

There was little damage to the square, just a few downed limbs. With no TV or cell phones the sound of children's laughter filled the playground, reminding us there is always Hope.