Marysville City Council member J.R. Rausch returned from his second trip to Marysville, Ind., with a sense of satisfaction.

Marysville City Council member J.R. Rausch returned from his second trip to Marysville, Ind., with a sense of satisfaction.

"I think I probably got more out of there than what I gave," he said.

An EF2 tornado that hit Marysville, Ind., on March 2 leveled the small, town. Rausch spent March 17 in that community, along with nine other Marysville, Ohio, residents, who devoted about six hours helping to move debris closer to the road so it could be picked up.

They also delivered $400 in gift cards from the staff at Creekview Intermediate School.

"We got some smaller denomination cards to places like Walgreens and Walmart," Rausch said. "Some of these people need medicine; they don't have their insurance cards or checkbooks. We were able to help out some there."

Marysville City Council passed a resolution on March 8, offering support for the Indiana town. Rausch had the resolution framed and delivered it to Marysville, Ind., officials on March 17.

"They were really touched by that. They're going to put that in the community center," he said.

The community center is the heart of the town, he noted. It is badly damaged but appears to be structurally sound.

Rausch said in addition to the community center, the town includes a car dealership, a church and a 100-year-old hardware store. There are only eight children in town so there is no school; those children attend a nearby school district.

The future of Marysville, Ind., is a huge concern, he said.

"There are quite a few seniors who had houses there and if they don't rebuild, what happens? If they decide not to rebuild, the city basically disappears," Rausch said.

"They need to come up with a master plan to rebuild. That doesn't sound difficult except they have no city government.

"I understand the people who are going through that process and trying to decide what's the best thing for their family, but if a few of them make the same decision, then it's gone," he said.

Rausch said as he sat in church the Sunday after the tornado, he thought about the devastation and it hit him: He looked at his wife and said, "I'm going to Marysville, Ind."

He ran into city council President Nevin Taylor as he left church and told him what he planned to do. Taylor immediately said he would go along.

In that first visit, Rausch said he was stunned by the amount of devastation.

"People's lives were strung out all over. It was so random. The fact that nobody died is just unbelievable," he said.

While the thought of a storm powerful enough to cause that kind of destruction to his own hometown is unsettling, Rausch has confidence in his community.

"I think we have a good warning system. We have a great emergency management agency that knows how to respond to an emergency and the city government and administration has already thought of disaster and what happens," he said.

Rausch said the people of Marysville, Ohio, have been terrific about offering assistance. People want to do more but residents in Marysville, Ind., must first decide what is going to happen to their little town. He said the people here just have to be patient.

Until that call for help comes, Rausch said residents here need to be thankful that the city of Marysville, Ohio, has not suffered the same fate.

"It could be us. It could be anybody," he said. "Pray it doesn't happen here."