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Indiana State Police share update on Hanover tornado

Tracking tornado damage in Hanover

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A line of storms hit southern Indiana on Thursday afternoon, spinning off at least one tornado in Jefferson County that damaged nearly 30 homes.

Survey teams from the National Weather Service office in Louisville visited the town of Hanover, home of Hanover College, and determined that an EF-1 tornado with maximum winds of 110 mph touched down there, NWS Louisville said on X. Survey teams also confirmed an EF-2 tornado with max winds of 115 mph in Jefferson County and Trimble County, Kentucky.

ISP Public Information Officer Sgt. Stephen Wheeles from the Versailles police post joined Daybreak on Friday to give an update on the situation in Hanover.

“It’s heartbreaking to see some of the damage. Fortunately, in this situation where we’re at, no serious injuries or fatalities from the storms that went through our area,” Wheeles said. “A lot of people in disbelief…going to have a long, long cleanup ahead of them.”

Hanover has a population of just over 3,600, and Wheeles says the entire town has come together since the tornado.

“You know, the thing we’re seeing through all of this — which is what we expect — it’s kind of that Hoosier spirit where everybody’s helping each other. I couldn’t count the number of people that were coming out from neighboring homes to help their neighbors and it was good to see, in a situation like this, that everyone’s willing to pitch in and help each other.”

Matt True, director of Jefferson County Emergency Management, told News 8 on Thursday night that two people received minor injuries. He believed three tornados touched down, leaving 97 structures, including 29 homes, damaged.

Sgt. Wheeles addressed the confusion many people experience in the aftermath of such severe storms. In eastern Indiana, some initial reports said three people had been killed in a tornado in Winchester; Randolph County officials later clarified that 38 people were injured — three critically — but there were no people killed.

“It’s kind of the fog of war, so to speak, even when we’re responding to these areas to try to determine what exactly is going on and something in the case of a storm where damage is widespread. It does take time and there is kind of that confusion initially to try to get those facts.”

Wheeles says the reports of fatalities in Randolph County reached him in southern Indiana.

“I was inundated with calls last night, asking about possible fatalities in my district and that kind of caught me off guard because I wasn’t aware that that was the case – and turns out it was a totally different part of Indiana that they were talking about.”