Severe storms trigger warnings in central Indiana

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Severe storms prompted numerous watches and warnings throughout central Indiana Friday morning. No serious damage was reported in central Indiana, but a tornado is reported to have caused extensive damage in the town of Henryville in Clark County.

Storm reports from the National Weather Service

The storms produced hail up to golf-ball size.

A trained spotter reported golf-ball sized hail (1.75") at 10:07 am in Brazil in Clay County. Golf ball-sized hail was also reported east of Sky King Airport by a spotter in North Terre Haute at 9:54 am.

A WTHR viewer sent in a picture of two-inch hail from Acton.

A tornado watch has been issued until 7:00 pm for central Indiana.

See a slide show of images from Friday's storms.

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Large hail, damaging wind, and isolated tornadoes are all threats for Central Indiana. Extreme Southern Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee are now under a high risk.

The best time for severe storms that will include hail, damaging wind, and isolated tornadoes will be from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. today.  Highs will reach the mid to upper 60s. 

A wind advisory is in effect for all of Central Indiana from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. as wind gusts up to 45 mph are possible.

Storm safety tips

Before the storms hit, we want to help you and your family be prepared with some storm safety advice.

If you're inside, the safest place during a storm is in your basement. If you don't have one and your home is built on a slab, you want to seek shelter in an interior room with no windows, closet or bathroom. A storage space under a staircase also works well, because there's a reinforced stud, but you should avoid rooms that border the garage.

"You're susceptible to having the garage cave in and from there it peels up," said Dan McCarthy, National Weather Service.

See the National Weather Service's advice about what to do before, during and after severe storms.

If you live in a mobile home, your safest bet is to get out because tornadoes can destroy even tied-down mobile homes. If your community has a tornado shelter, go there or to a sturdy permanent building within easy running distance.

Otherwise, lie flat on some low ground away from your home, trees or cars. And don't forget to protect your head.

Driving tips

If you happen to be out driving when the storm hits, you need to take action because experts say your car is one of the most unsafe places to be in dangerous weather.

The first line of defense is to pull over as fast as you can and get inside a nearby building, like a store. 

Even if there are no buildings around, experts say you should pull over and try to get below ground level like in a ditch and cover your head. Never try to outrun a tornado

"They'll travel at speeds that can overtake a vehicle. And they're moving in a straight line and typically roads swerve and curve to get from one point to another and judging the intensity of the storm and the speed of the storm is nearly impossible," said Greg Gates, Homeland Security.

In a store

Experts say if you're in a department store, move to the center away from windows and go near the clothing racks. You can cover yourself with the clothing to protect you from flying debris.

In a grocery or big box store, steer clear of aisles with heavy items like furniture and electronics and tall shelves.

If you're in a shopping mall, stay away from the outside walls and windows and go to the lower level.

In any public building, you can take cover in a restroom.

"Typically in most buildings restrooms are a very small, well-supported structures," said Gates.

The managers or employees of a business know the specific areas that are the safest. weather tools

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