Pence: 12 Ind. counties report tornadoes or damage

INDIANAPOLIS - Severe thunderstorms packing tornadoes and heavy winds rolled across Indiana on Sunday, injuring at least one person and causing widespread damage.

Gov. Mike Pence said 12 counties reported either tornadoes or damage after the initial line of storms had traveled midway across Indiana.

See our timeline of statewide damage reports here.

"Significant damage has been reported in Lebanon, Indiana, and Washington, Indiana," Pence said in a telephone interview while monitoring reports from the Emergency Operations Center of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in downtown Indianapolis.

Damage also was reported in Lafayette and Kokomo. A state of emergency was declared for Howard County, particularly Kokomo, Russiaville and Greentown, until 6 a.m. Monday. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic is prohibited until that time.

"It's a very dangerous storm, and it's only about halfway across the state right now," Pence said.

The initial line of storms traveled at a ground speed of 50-70 mph, Pence said.

The National Weather Service reported a tornado damaged several houses in Washington.

A teacher was injured when a storm heavily damaged Southwestern Middle and Grade School in southern Tippecanoe County, Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley said.

"The gymnasium is basically gone," and parts of the roof had been blown off, too, Riley said.

"It's very chaotic," Riley said.

Tree branches were blown into concrete walls there, said Riley, who went to the scene.

A small barn was blown across Indiana 28 in Montgomery County, and trees and power lines were down across the area, Riley said.

See the photos our viewers sent in throughout the storm here.

State police reported knee-deep water off Interstate 465 exit ramp lanes on Indianapolis' east side. The weather service reported 1 1/4 inches of rain fell in a 90-minute period in the Owen County town of Gosport, about five miles southwest of Indianapolis.

The Fountain County Emergency Management Agency reported a truck was blown over on I-74 about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

The weather service says a trained weather spotter measured a wind gust of 80 mph in Crown Point in northwestern Indiana.

The Indiana Toll Road banned some trucks Sunday because of the threat of high winds. The ban affected triple, long-double and high-profile oversize permit loads.
 

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