NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – It was all hands on deck as storms rolled through Central Indiana Thursday.
Hamilton County was under a Tornado Watch for part of the afternoon. When the warning came out, the county’s Emergency Management activated its storm plan. A few professionals were brought in to monitor radars and radios.
“We probably have close to 50 people close on standby now ready to come in or respond out in the field,” said Shane Booker, the Executive Director.
Booker said they are looking for any information you might need to know. His staff works with first responders and amateur radio operators to gather and relay that information.
“We serve as a central point where radio amateurs throughout Hamilton County call us with observations,” said Joe March, Coordinator for RACES.
March works with roughly 50 amateur radio operators who are also storm spotters. Sometimes the storm spotters will go out safely in their car to look for funnel clouds and report if they see tornadoes touching down.
“We are able to direct them to a spot where they should not be in any danger and have the best view of the storm and look for a wall cloud or where there’s rotation,” he said.
A Tornado Watch in Hamilton County was canceled around 2 p.m. Thursday. High winds were still a concern especially for utility crews. Around 6 p.m. on Thursday, roughly 3,800 customers of IPL were without power.
“We probably could see outages that are widespread across our service territory,” said Claire Rice, IPL spokesperson.
Rice said a big reason for outages during storms is trees falling on power lines. They tend to see large dead ash trees that have not been taken care uprooted by strong winds.