UPDATE: At least 6 tornadoes confirmed in Indiana after Sunday storms


Damage from tornado in Lawrence County

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Severe weather returned to central Indiana on Sunday, and many counties were under watches and warnings for most of the afternoon through the evening hours.

There was significant damage reported all throughout the area.

The National Weather Service confirmed these tornadoes and provided preliminary ratings:

  • One EF-1 tornado in Muncie
  • One EF-1 tornado in Springville
  • One EF-2 tornado in Delaware/Jay County
  • Three tornadoes (one EF-0 and two EF-1) in Salem

On Monday, the NWS sent survey teams to Lawrence County and Delaware County to assess damages. The survey team determined an EF-1 tornado did, in fact, hit Lawrence County in the area of Springville Judah Road and Gas Line Road.

The tornado, packing 90 mph winds, seemed to follow an eastward path as it tracked along Springville Juda Rd, which turns into Washboard Rd near State Road 37.

“If you go by all the damage, there’s trees houses tore up, all the way down the road,” said Springville resident Jeff Staggs.  “Just looked like it just followed a straight path, straight through.”

Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham says a family member of one of his Seargents took a photo of the tornado as it made its way toward the northeastern corner of the county.  Branham spent Sunday night and most of Monday responding to three pages of damage reports.  Damage ranged from downed trees, to damaged homes, to flipped over mobile homes, and a church steeple knocked down.

“Been trying to remind some people about predatory contractors in these circumstances,” Branham said.  “They’ve already been in the area.”

David Fowler says he was racing home Sunday afternoon after his wife called to tell him a tornado was on the way.  While she took shelter in a bathroom, he arrived ten minutes after their garage was leveled.

“It came through real quick,” Fowler said.  “It only lasted about a minute and a half.  And it really did sound like, they always say a freight train.  It sounded just like that.”

Things in Springville got more complicated after the storm when a large gas leak forced the evacuation of 90 to 100 homes.  Springville Elementary School opened the gymnasium so the Red Cross could set up a temporary shelter.

“Sixteen people came for part of the night after they were evacuated because of the gas leak,” said Red Cross volunteer, Teena Ligman.  “They came here and stayed until they could go back home.”

Despite all the damage reports, Sheriff Branham was happy to report no injures resulted from the storm.

Many people in Muncie are also working to clean up storm damage. For the most part, high winds are to blame, and there are a lot of downed trees, street signs, and even a stoplight is out. There is a 200-square foot hole in the roof of Muncie Fieldhouse after part of it caved in, allowing water to spill onto the basketball court and gym floor.

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