SUMMITVILLE, Ind. — Summitville Town Marshal Tom Everett was in a town council meeting at dinnertime early Wednesday evening when a storm packing tornadic winds blew through northern Madison County.
“We were out in it and it lasted, I would imagine, eight to ten minutes and it was completely gone,” he said.
When the wind quit blowing and the sun came out, Everett surveyed the damage to his town.
“The water building had been hit, the roof had been removed, as we started tracking southeast we started seeing a lot of damage, wind, trees down, trees into homes, fences down, cars damaged and we had one camper trailer turned over that we found.”
While the decorative roof at the Indiana American Water Company headquarters was blasted, the building was relatively undamaged and water service was never interrupted.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew White and his crew traveled the town, looking for evidence as to the cause of the damage.
“At this point, we can confirm it was tornadic,” he said. “I think it was a pretty short path and touched down, it kind of bounced a little bit, kind of going over the town and touching down briefly along the way.”
The tornado blew a path through two trees in Nathan Etchinson’s yard and crashed large branches into his SUV parked out back.
“The whole front end is all messed up, the windshield’s all busted up, I got a lot of dents and dings on the sides,” he said. “I can’t even see outside my door and it’s like our main window we look out was just covered in green because all the trees and branches around.”
Van Buren Township Fire Chief Coby Huggins was out in the storm.
“It was pretty crazy,” he said. “The tornado was visible for just a minute then the rain wrapped it and we couldn’t see it anymore so we couldn’t see where it was at or what it was doing.”
Huggins said the storm blew in so quickly and turned into a tornado so fast, there was no time to activate the town’s emergency siren system.
While about a dozen buildings were damaged, there were no injuries.
“Just a lot of minor damage,” said the fire chief, “but to a small town, that’s a big deal.”