5 Indiana Tornadoes Confirmed

Tornadoes Touched Down Near Greensburg, Bedford, Bloomington, Haysville, Huntingburg

At least five tornadoes touched down across Indiana on Wednesday night, the National Weather Service confirmed.

Meteorologists reported at least one twister struck near Greensburg, a second near Bedford, one just outside Bloomington and two in Dubois County, in Haysville and Huntingburg, in southwestern Indiana.

The first confirmed tornado to touch down, near Greensburg, caused extensive storm damage on the southwest side of the city.

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The NWS said the tornado was a high-end EF-1 with maximum wind speeds of 105 mph.

Video there showed the tops ripped off barns and debris scattered across fields. The most extensive damage reached from the Decatur County Airport northeast through Greensburg City Park and the Greensburg Country Club.

At the airport, several hangars sustained damage, with pieces of roof flung across runways and nearby roads.

"In the 20 years I've been on the fire department, this is the worst I've ever seen," said Greensburg Fire Chief Scott Chasteen.

Storm survey crews discovered tornado damage in a neighborhood about a mile south of the Interstate 74 and U.S. 421 interchange. They said it's unclear if the damage was caused by a second tornado.

"The house started shaking. The whole utility room start flooding, and we just sat there and prayed and prayed," said Carlie Goleman, who rode out the storm in her home in the Rolling Meadows subdivision. "It's an unbelievable feeling. I've never been like anything like this before."

The second confirmed tornado hit northeast of Bedford, in Lawrence County, and was determined to be a high-end EF-2, with winds of up to 135 mph, meteorologists said.

The tornado touched down just after 8 p.m. near Brown Station Road and U.S. 50, and cut a 7-mile-long swath up to a quarter-mile wide, injuring several people and damaging homes and buildings.

Watch: | YouTube Video Of Tornado, Courtesy Kathy Scarlett |

"I saw the rotating wall cloud, the tornado dropped down and debris started flying up," said Lowell Bailey, who lives in Bedford.

The third confirmed tornado hit later in the evening, ripping through a mobile home park at State Road 45 and Eller Road in the town of Stanford. That twister was determined to be an EF-1, with winds up to 110 mph.

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Eight people, including three children, were injured when mobile homes were flipped by the winds.

"What I seen coming at me last night, no that can't be no straight line winds," Brad Taylor, whose mobile home was destroyed, said early Thursday. "It was too loud. It sounded too much like a freight train."

The damage path in Bloomington started near SR 45 and SR 47 and ended near SR 37, officials said.

"It appears that a series of microbursts with weak embedded tornadoes caused the storm damage in Bloomington," a news release from the NWS said.

In southwestern Indiana, the tornado in Huntingburg was determined to be an EF-2 with winds of 115 mph. The tornado in Haysville was rated as EF-1.

The NWS service also reported that damage a mile west of the town of Letts in Decatur County was caused by straight line winds.

Bartholomew County Emergency Management officials reported three silos, a barn and a home were damaged by a possible tornado or straight-line winds. There were also several trees down.

In Columbus, power was out downtown, and several restaurant signs were toppled by high winds. Several neighborhoods near Columbus Regional Hospital were particularly hard hit with trees and power lines down.

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Duke Energy reported more than 63,000 customers without power as of 1 a.m. Thursday, most in Monroe and Vigo counties. That was down to 36,000 by 6 a.m., with about 9,500 of those in Vigo County and 6,900 in Monroe County.

There were reports of 1.75-inch hail and wind gusts of up to 60 mph in several counties north of Indianapolis.

The severe weather threat has pushed east of Indiana. A much calmer weather pattern is expected to move into the region after the storm system moves away.

The forecast for the Indianapolis 500 appears to be mostly sunny and warm, with high temperatures expected in the mid-80s.