HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. — A team from the National Weather Service will look into storm damage in Hancock County Tuesday morning.
Hancock County EMA Director Misty Moore suspects a tornado did touch down in the area but she’s waiting on the NWS to confirm.
”It did happen really quick,” Moore said. “We had a thunderstorm warning and then within moments it turned into a tornado warning and we were setting up sirens and notifying everyone within seconds.”
Moore said the most damage was concentrated along 600 North as it ran past 500 West, 400 West and 350 West. That’s where Michael Furrer lives.
”It sounded almost like thunder, really just like heavy thunder,” Furrer said. “You could feel the house shake, you know the wind took over.”
Furrer was talking on the phone when he said he saw strong winds start to tumble trees across the fields outside his home.
”The pressure started blowing through the house to where I had to deadbolt my backdoor, I felt all of the wind coming in,” Furrer said.
After the heavy winds passed, Furrer came outside to see a tree down in his yard and much more damage in the surrounding fields and roads.
Crews near 500 West and 600 North were busy repairing multiple power poles the storm had knocked over. One road over, 400 West, there were large scarps of metal, torn and twisted, strewn all over the fields on either side of the road. A little farther down 600 North, there was more metal and trees snapped in half along 350 West.
Based on the damage, Moore believes a tornado did touch down. Luckily, she said there were no reports of injuries from the severe weather.
”As many calls as we were getting with damage reports we absolutely expected some injuries,” she said.
Moore said the most significant damage came to a historic round barn off 600 North. Moore said it’s owned by a multigenerational farming family.
”That barn has been there for 120 years,” she said. “They were obviously emotional, it was a hard day for them, they have a lot to process.”
Moore said it looks like the foundation of the round barn has shifted and she advised the family not to go inside.
Moore said this is one of the sites she and her team will take the group from the NWS by the damage Tuesday morning.
”They’ll go back around with us to take a look at the sites that were damaged and they will be able to, as meteorologists, to tell if it was an actual tornado and what level it was,” Moore said.
According to the NWS, Hancock County has not seen a tornado since 2010.