Confirmed EF-1 tornado damages dozens of homes west of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS - A tornado damaged 11 homes Tuesday in Hendricks County. The National Weather Service preliminarily confirmed that the tornado that touched down in Plainfield was an EF-1 with speeds up to 110 mph. 

There were no reports of injuries as search and rescue crews went door-to-door in areas along Raceway Road near U.S. 40, including the Cameron Meadows neighborhood. 

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A large tornado tracked through the area at roughly 2:30 p.m. Severe weather was not expected Tuesday, so the tornado came as a surprise to residents.

At least three homes were heavily damaged in the Cameron Meadows neighborhood. The same storm prompted warnings for several counties until the storm weakened an hour later.

A storm spotter reported a tornado on the ground in Speedway at roughly 2:40 p.m.. 

That report followed another storm-spotter report of a tornado on the ground with debris near Perry Road and U.S. 40 in Hendricks County, moving east at roughly 2:30 p.m.

A gaping hole was in the roof of a home after a neighbor's RV slammed into the home. Numerous other homes had damaged siding and roofs. Hendricks County Emergency Management Director David Warren said this home is unlivable.

"It's very upsetting. I think I'm still trying to go through and comprehend everything, but the most important thing is that my husband is fine and my grandbabies are fine. It's a little devastating not knowing what to do next," homeowner Becky Rackley said. 

Air conditioners were blown away from the sides of homes and fences were knocked down and strewn about the area.

Volunteers with the the National Guard responded to the scene and a shelter was set up at Bridgeport Elementary School, but it was shut down a short time later as there were no residents who needed that service.

Residents were asked to avoid areas damaged by the storm.

Tom Spalding, spokesman for the Chimney Safety Institute of America, was in a training session when the storm arrived and snapped a good picture of the twister.

"Our phones started ringing with the weather alert," Spalding said. "I was watching the clouds. All of a sudden, they just kind of formed a V shape."

There were other wall cloud reports as the storm moved through northern Marion County and into Hamilton County, but the tornado-producing storm weakened as it tracked northeast.

Tornado warnings were issued Tuesday afternoon for areas west and southwest of Indianapolis, including parts of Hendricks, Morgan and Marion counties.

Rotation was evident in the storm from weather radar, and a storm spotter said rotation was seen in a wall cloud in the storm.

Wall clouds are often precursors to funnel clouds and tornadoes.

As of 2 p.m., rotation was seen on radar in southern Hendricks County. A few minutes later, the radar indicated the storm was weakening, but it strengthened again just west of Indianapolis about 2:30 p.m.

There were no other watches or warnings in the area.

Clear skies were in the forecast for Wednesday as the community continues to recover from the nasty storms.

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