Eight tornadoes confirmed in Indiana storms

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Howard County - The National Weather Service has confirmed eight tornadoes across Indiana from the storm front that swept through the state Tuesday.

No serious injuries or widespread damage was reported from the tornadoes.

The weather service says the strongest of the twisters were rated EF1s with winds up to 110 mph. Two of those hit rural areas in Huntington and Whitely counties near Fort Wayne, while another caused some building damage at Wanatah in LaPorte County.

Weaker EF0 tornadoes with winds up to 85 mph were confirmed in Dearborn, Howard, Huntington, Porter and Wabash counties. The Wabash tornado blew out some window and caused exterior damage to a Walmart store.

Howard County

A small tornado touched down in Howard County during Tuesday's storms.

The National Weather Service confirmed that a "small, brief tornado" touched down. They're determining whether it's an F0 or F1.

The tornado touched down within two miles within US 31 east of Kokomo. It damaged several barns and a church building.

A local firefighter, Dan Wilson found himself on the other side of disaster when the tornado hit his house.

"There's smoke coming from the roof, looking like fire," he reported to the dispatch operator.

"Wood starts splintering, steel peeling gets loud," he said. "I looked out the window saw furniture flying, thought I'm going to get that. All of a sudden it went black. This is the garage. Most of the garage area collapsed in."

Neighbors and friends worked to salvage his home, which was spread in pieces across a field far and wide.

"My daughter's bedroom is in here, fortunately, she was at work and not home. My stepson was in bed right here when the roof got ripped off," Wilson said. "When it got ripped off, all the insulation came down and it was just total blackness for him. So he jumped up into the back, where we still have a little bit of the roof left back there."

"That's siding from the house down there that blew up," said a neighbor.

At another home, the storm tore off the roofing and damaged fencing, a barbecue grill and the swimming pool. Debris was found a quarter-mile away. But that family feels lucky, compared to neighbors right up the road.

"We seen stuff flying. They went down there to make sure no one was hurt," said Janet Cardwell, who called 911 after the storm hit. "Luckily, no one was."

Weather spotter Ryan Parsons captured the funnel cloud as it headed for the homes on CR 300 East and CR 50 North.

"It dropped, maybe 100 yards away from the house. Hit the house," Parsons said.

The storm then moved another half mile north, chewing up trees and spitting out debris. About a quarter of a mile from the McMahon family's house, there was a piece of their fencing, an animal carrier and other debris.

No warning issued

Despite bad weather roaring through the area, there was no tornado warning issued for Howard County. Residents knew there was bad weather outside, but not a possible twister in the area.

"There was no tornado warning here in Howard County. There was a severe thunderstorm warning issued for Howard, the tornado warning for Miami and Cass, then Grant County, skipping Howard County completely," Parsons said. "I called the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, reported the tornado on the ground, they hurried up and issued [a tornado warning]."

"We have a weather radio there at school and that weather radio didn't go off. Didn't even know there's a tornado here," said homeowner Keith McMahon.

The school, Christian Heritage, was preparing for storms, but administrators weren't aware of the severity of Tuesday's storm.

"They really didn't know, 'cause the thing didn't go off," said student Kayla Trent.

"We had a practice tornado drill at 10:30 and they say that it went through at 9:30, so they just talked about why we would cover the back of our heads and what to do when we got in the basement," said student Logan McMahon.

More tornadoes confirmed

Another tornado was confirmed in Huntington County. The National Weather Service says there is evidence of an F1 tornado touching down near the intersection of 825 West and Bracken Road. Several outbuildings had heavy damage and a metal grain bin was destroyed. Wood projectiles were lodged in the roof of a house and concrete blocks were lifted onto the roof of a small building. The debris trail was about a mile long.

A tornado was also confirmed in Wabash County. The NWS says the tornado began at the intersection of Highways 24 and 15 in Wabash around 10:20 am. The Walmart shopping complex had some damage to air conditioner units, some windows were blown out and also some exterior damage. A roof was torn off a vocational center nearby. The damage was rated at the high end of F0 with wind speeds of 80 to 85 mph.

Tornadoes were also confirmed later Tuesday night in LaPorte, Whitley and Porter counties.

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