(NECN/NBC News: Jay Gray) - A day after, and the devastation is still almost impossible to believe.
"Tragic, terrible," said one unidentified resident. "It's like one minute, you are here and then, you are gone. It's a bad situation."
Communities and lives ripped apart by at least a hundred tornadoes that touched down across a dozen states.
The images of destruction tell the sad story better than any words might - Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina all have deep, violent scars that stretch for miles.
Perhaps none more painful than here, in the nation's heartland.
"One again, Mother Nature has dealt harshly with Indiana," said Ind. Gov. Mitch Daniels.
The small town of Henryville, Ind. was essentially wiped from the map.
"We came out of the basement and everything was gone," said Nick Shelton, a Henryville, Ind. resident.
The only thing left to cling to here is each other, and now they begin the seemingly impossible task of picking up the pieces. Many sifting through the rubble understand, as hard as it may be to believe, that it could have actually been worse.
Framed by buses tossed, or toppled on their sides, is what is left of the high school, shredded by the storm. The classrooms likely would have been full when the storm hit, but ahead of the tornado, administrators made a live-saving decision.
"It was a Godsend," said one person.
A blessing indeed, in an area that from the outside looks so cursed right now.