At least 9 tornadoes hit Indiana Saturday, NWS confirms with surveying

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The National Weather Service spent the day surveying tornado damage in Rush, Hancock, Decatur and Bartholomew counties.

In all, nine tornadoes had been confirmed by NWS on Monday night: 

  • Rushville, Rush County: EF2
  • Bloomfield area, Greene County: EF2
  • Ellettsville area, Monroe County: EF2
  • Freedom and Spencer area, Owen County: EF1
  • Northern Union County: EF1
  • Beech Grove, Marion County: EF1
  • Beech Grove, Marion County: EF0
  • Richmond, Wayne County: EF0
  • Bentonville, Fayette County: EF0

Rush County: Rushville 

Surveyors said Rush County, just south of Rushville, was a priority because of the extensive damage. 

Mike Ryan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said he’s confident the tornado that touched down in Rush County was an EF2.

“We had already confirmed a tornado here based on pictures and video we’d seen on Saturday night, but we’re out here basically looking at the damage, talking to people that were impacted trying to determine how extensive the damage was and trying to put a wind speed to it,” said Ryan. 

Several homes and farms in the county saw the heaviest damage. One farm off Flatrock River Road had a grain silo ripped out of the ground and thrown nearly a mile across a field. 

Jerry Dierckman spent most of the day cleaning up debris from the tornado. He said the pain he feels for his son who farms the land is almost unbearable.

“It almost brings tears to your eyes when you see him have to go through this,” said Dierckman. 

Ryan Schilling with Fraley and Schilling Trucking shared this security camera footage that shows an apparent tornado near the business. 

Greene County: Bloomfield

The NWS reported no injuries after an EF2 tornado near Bloomfield in Greene County. 

The tornado started west of North Crowe Road and caused significant damage to a new building in the area. One resident told NWS crews that more than 100 acres of trees near State Road 54 were snapped. 

According to News 8’s sister station WTWO, the tornado caused flooding that temporarily closed portions of State Road 54, as well as damage to 70 homes, including three that were destroyed.

Monroe County: Ellettsville 

An EF2 tornado with winds up to 135 miles per hour touched down Saturday night northeast of Ellettsville in Monroe County, the National Weather Service confirmed.

No injuries were reported. The storm destroyed at least two homes and damaged dozens of structures.

At least seven homes sustained “major” damage, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said.

Owen County: Freedom and Spencer

An EF1 tornado began Saturday night just southwest of the community of Freedom in Owen County. The NWS said the tornado left “a very clear path of sheared and uprooted trees” and crossed the White River several times. 

No injuries were reported in Owen County. A large building had its roof uplifted and collapsed, and some power lines were knocked down along with the uprooted trees. 

Union County

An EF1 tornado hit northern Union County on Saturday night, according to the NWS. The tornado destroyed a metal farm storage building, throwing its debris as much as 2 miles away. 

A resident told NWS a 200-pound tree with a 3-foot diameter was lifted by the tornado and hit a house before landing in a nearby ditch. 

Marion County: Beech Grove

Two tornadoes — an EF1 and an EF0 — hit Beech Grove on Saturday, destroying portions of Beech Grove High School, the nearby Beech Meadow apartment complex and businesses in the area. 

Some residents suffered so much damage they weren’t able to stay in their homes Saturday night. 

The NWS said an EF1 tornado caused the damage near Emerson Avenue. The EF0 tornado had a brief touchdown near Brookville Road and East Raymond Street, causing damage to several outbuildings and minor tree damage. 

Wayne County: Richmond 

An EF0 tornado touched down in Richmond Saturday, injuring two people and causing damage to the Richmond Mall and a nursing home. 

According to the NWS statement, an adult and a child suffered minor injuries when they were sitting in a car at the service station at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Hayes Arboretum Road and the car’s windows were blown in. The adult and child were treated and released at an area hospital, the NWS said.

The most significant damage observed was at Richmond Mall. Several air handlers on the roof came off and blew onto U.S. 40. The tornado left the parking lot full of debris and destroyed a brick wall. In all, eight businesses inside and one store outside received damage, according to the NWS. 

Fayette County: Bentonville​​​​​​

The NWS confirmed an EF0 tornado just south of Bentonville Saturday night in Fayette County. 

No injuries were reported. The Bentonville Christian Church suffered extensive damage, losing its roof and one entire wall. The debris from the church damage spanned 200 yards into a cemetery and nearby field. 

The National Weather Service said official findings from the counties surveyed Monday are expected to be released sometime Tuesday.

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