Carmel man fights to fix cemetery destroyed by 2018 tornado

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A man is still fighting to fix a historic Putnam County cemetery that was destroyed by a tornado last year.

Peter Doupis, of Carmel, says huge trees have been lying across Smalley's Cemetery on Farmers Mills Road since May of 2018 when tornadoes swept through the area.

The trees broke many of the tombstones, which can barely be seen through the green because crews can't get in to mow the grass.

Doupis says he's been very frustrated with how the Town of Kent has been handling the rehabilitation of the cemetery.

"I've made numerous phone calls to the town, supervisor herself, and it doesn't seem like any attempt has been made to come clean this thing up," he says.

To make matters worse, the cemetery lies directly in front of his house, so he sees it every day.

Kent Town Supervisor Maureen Fleming told News 12 they've been extremely backlogged ever since the storm.

"The Town of Kent was devastated," Fleming said. "I mean, we had roads closed, we had neighborhoods that were inaccessible -- probably for weeks. We had well over 1,000 trees down."

Fleming says Putnam County took the reins of the project this past spring, but didn't fulfill their promises. So the Town of Kent took back control and asked the county to pay for half of the near $13,000 bill to remove the trees. Fleming says no matter what, they'll get the job done.

Fleming says she'll bring the project up for a vote at their next meeting on Aug. 22.

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