Numerous People Injured As Storms Plow Through Indiana

Dozens Of Homes Destroyed In Rush County

An outbreak of tornadoes injured numerous people, destroyed numerous homes and damaged about 40 buildings at a military training base late Tuesday.

Several rounds of thunderstorms tore through the central and south-central part of the state, critically injuring a woman in Moscow, who was thrown about 50 yards from her demolished home, and leaving others with minor injuries.

One of 10 victims in Moscow alone, Diane Hester, 66, was impaled in the upper chest by a 3-inch diameter tree limb, said Charles Smith, chief of the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Smith, who helped rescue the woman from the banks of the Flatrock River, said she was awake when she was found in storm debris.

"Her house was gone, along the side of the river bank. There's nothing left of it," he said. "She didn't talk, but she was moaning. I just hope she makes it."

A neighbor told 6News' Julie Pursley that she had called the woman before the storm and told her to huddle inside as the storm neared. The victim's dog was killed. She was taken to an Indianapolis hospital for treatment.

The National Weather Service said as many as two tornadoes ripped through southwestern Rush County at about 9:20 p.m. Wind speeds were estimated at between 90 and 148 mph, an EF-3 on the tornado intensity scale.

"These homes were leveled down to their foundations," said Mike Ooley, Rush County's emergency management director.

Jolene Icenogle, who lives just outside of Moscow, said the roads around the town were strewn with downed power lines, fallen limbs and other storm debris when she was driving home from work late Tuesday.

"I was just lucky my home wasn't hit," she said. "There's insulation in our yard from somewhere. We don't know where but it's not ours. There's a lot of damage to houses."

The storm also destroyed a 19th-century covered bridge that leads into the community about 35 miles southeast of Indianapolis, along with tearing the top floor and roof from an old brick schoolhouse.

"The only thing left is the bottom of the bridge, which is upside down in the creek," said Indiana State Police Sgt. John Bowling.

Several Amish families also live in the area and flooding and storm debris damaged their crops and left cattle and horses missing.

Several homes were heavily damaged in Milroy, also in Rush County. The roof came off one home and several walls were obliterated, but a family of three inside escaped without injury by huddling in an interior bathroom.

"We took pillows and went to the bathroom," said Kathy Stephens. "The floor started rumbling and we could hear an extremely loud roar."

A car outside the home was blown across a road and into a field, and a pickup truck was thrown to the other side of the house.

Stay with Storm Team 6 and for the latest severe weather information.