Severe storms cause significant damage in Peru

Peru damage - photo courtesy Mike Applegate
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Updated: .

Powerful storms rolled through central Indiana Wednesday, causing over 20,000 power outages and significant property damage in Peru, Miami County.

The storms damaged several buildings on the west side of Peru, according to Chris Marks, the Miami County Emergency Management director. He said there are several trees down in Maconaquah Park.

See storm damage pictures here.

Views from Chopper 13 show some buildings destroyed and others heavily damaged. The storms pushed vehicles in the Kroger parking lot onto their side and into each other. One vehicle was flipped onto its top.

Residents say there was no warning before the storm blew through town.

"It was coming, too, but it really didn't give us a warning. Just all at once, the tree went through the wall in there, then that one was on top of the house," said Roberta Johnson.

A tree that stands between Roberta's home and her sister Lucille's home next door crashed down into Roberta's roof. The damage is so bad, she can't stay in the house where she's lived for 45 years. Instead, she'll be staying with her sister.

The damage was isolated to a narrow path through the town of Peru.

"It sounded like a freight train came through. There was no warning or anything," said one witness.

"Glad it didn't take the house. That's all I'm worried about is the house and it didn't take it. Material things can be replaced, life can't," said Roy Turpine.

Turpine's garage, however, was leveled by the storm.

"Looks like it sort of sucked it over, instead of just up in the air," he said.

Traffic on West Main Street was blocked to prevent the incoming flow of traffic after the storms Some streets remain barricaded mostly because of downed power lines.

There was a reported gas leak that has since been capped, and a trailer was shifted from its foundation. The B & K Root Beer stand was destroyed.  There was also damage reported at the Aldi supermarket.

The Kroger reported damage to the front of the store and possible damage at the gas station. Two customers had minor injuries, including an injury from broken glass. No workers were injured.

There were no funnel cloud sightings reported to state police prior to the storm. At this point the National Weather Service is assessing what kind of storm caused the damage. Investigators will tour the area on Thursday to determine if the damage was caused by a tornado.

Indiana State Police and emergency management are conducting damage assessments.

One picture posted by a WTHR viewer on our station's Facebook page showed a car flipped onto its hood into a ditch filled with water in the Kroger parking lot. Another picture showed significant damage to buildings along W. 2nd Street, and a third picture showed a marquee or other part of a building that came down on parked vehicles.

In Howard County, emergency management officials say the storm dropped rain and brought strong winds to the area. A director at the Howard County Fair tells Eyewitness News activities on the grounds "came mostly to a halt" while the storm rolled through. He said the impact was mostly just high winds. No one was hurt. A marquee at a food stand was blown over. There was no other damage at the fairgrounds.

As of 3:30 pm, Duke Energy reported over 20,000 outages. That number was reduced to about 800 by 11:30 pm. IPL reported a very small number of homes without power.

The good news is the seven-day forecast, which shows much cooler, drier air coming our way. weather tools

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