The Herald Bulletin

December 1, 2012

Winds of change: Noisy turbines mar landscape, Ladds say

By Baylee Pulliam
The Herald Bulletin

ELWOOD, Ind. — Many farms just north of Elwood have been passed down from generation to generation, said Noramae Ladd, who has lived there most of her life.

But with the new crop of windmills, “I don’t know what they (those past generations) would think if they were to come back and see it,” said the retired Madison-Grant school teacher, 81.

Noramae and husband Willis were never approached about putting turbines on their roughly 2-acre property on State Road 13 north of Elwood. But they still occasionally hear them.

Willis, 83, remembers hearing something that sounded “like a jet airplane in the distance.” He went outside to investigate and saw turbines in motion. He said he can count 31 of them through the kitchen window on the west side of his house.

“We have all these windmills now and it just rather makes me sick because it was a beautiful farmland,” Noramae said.

Willis has worked in agriculture most of his life, aside from when he served in the Army.

“This ground’s rich,” he said, and the construction and access roads built to get crews to and from the turbines “takes out a lot of ground” that could be used for farming.

They don’t dislike the construction crews. “They’re nice people,” Willis said.

But there’s been mixed feelings locally about the turbines, Noramae said.

Some don’t want a turbine on their land. “There are people around that’s very adamant about it,” Willis said.

But he doesn’t see any point in getting angry. “What good is it going to do?” he said.