Weather Stories

Weather service confirms tornado hit Salem, Washington County

SALEM, Ind. (WISH) — A tornado Friday night in Washington County damaged homes in rural areas and two businesses on Salem’s Public Square, the National Weather Service in Louisville, Kentucky, said after concluding its survey Sunday.

No one was hurt in the 8-minute tornado that hit at 8:06 p.m. Friday and lasted eight minutes. The twister traveled 5.5 miles, lifting in downtown Salem, the survey report says. The city of Salem is about 60 miles south of Indianapolis.

The tornado touched down near West Wilson Lane and Dog Trot Road, just south of State Road 56 about halfway between Salem and the town of Livonia. In that vicinity, a barn, two outbuildings and a carport were damaged. Part of the buildings’ debris was found on a farm a half-mile east.

The worse damage happened near the intersection of Mill Creek Road and Fort Hill Road. A brick home suffered damage to its roof and porch columns, and a dozen trees were uprooted or snapped. In this area, the tornado had a maximum width of 200 yards, and winds up to 105 mph.

From that intersection, the tornado traveled across farmland until reaching two homes along Woodland Drive in the Naugle addition, where two large hardwood trees were uprooted.

In Salem, the EF-1 tornado uprooted a large tree at Crown Hill Cemetery and damaged two businesses northwest of the Washington County Courthouse. The survey team noted that tornado missed the 135-year-old Courthouse by 200 feet.

At each of the places where the tornado struck, people had learned about the tornado warning from emergency alerts, TV reports or weather radios. Most went into basements to wait out the storm, while one family without a basement took shelter in an interior bathroom. One resident without a basement went to a neighbor’s home that had a basement.

The Washington County Emergency Management Agency has not responded to an email sent Friday night to learn of damage.

The tornado was the second in Indiana in 2022. On March 6, an EF-0 tornado with winds up to 70 mph hit a rural portion of Cass County in northern Indiana.

The weather service shared four photos of the damage in Washington County.