Greene County residents concerned about lack of tornado sirens - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Greene County residents concerned about lack of tornado sirens

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Greene County Greene County
Harrison County tornado damage Harrison County tornado damage
Jill New Jill New
GREENE COUNTY -

Straight-line winds up to 70 mph damaged 14 homes in Greene County overnight. The storms also caused scattered power outages.

The Greene County Sheriff's Department reported heavy structural damage to several residences on State Road 43 from Solsberry to Hendricksville in Eastern Greene County. This has resulted in heavy debris in the roadway including trees and power lines down.  No injuries were reported, but it was a long day of clean-up for dozens of people.

Residents were concerned about a possible tornado. Although the National Weather Service determined it wasn't a tornado that struck in the early morning hours, people who live here say the warnings came too late.

"There were no stinking sirens here," said Jill New, homeowner.

Jill New is frustrated she wasn't forewarned.

"It's just nerve-wracking," she said.

The mother of two rushed her two daughters to the basement when the storms hit. The winds were so fierce that part of her roof was gone by the time the storms had passed.

Residents lost power for around 12 hours.

"I do feel fortunate. I compare it to my neighbor and he's got five times the damage I have," said Terry Hudson, homeowner.

Severe weather is always more difficult to handle in a small community like this one.

"We pulled out fire trucks on our front pads and turned on the sirens. We wanted to try to alert people about the severe weather," said Austin Combs, Eastern Fire Department.

There are no weather sirens in the rural community of Solsberry. The emergency management director tells Eyewitness News there are only three towns in the county that have paid to have sirens.

A small community like this can't afford sirens, but they can rely on neighborhood help.

The emergency director tells us he doesn't think sirens would help in a spread-out community like Solsberry. That's why a weather radio is your best bet - and it needs to be accessible every month of the year. 

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Harrison County tornado

While Greene County's damage was not from a tornado, the National Weather Service says a small tornado touched down overnight in a small southern Indiana town near the Ohio River.

A survey crew from the weather service's Louisville, Kentucky, office confirmed that an EF-O tornado touched down in the Harrison County town of Elizabeth about 3 a.m. Wednesday. Meteorologist Mike Callahan says the tornado packed winds up to 80 mph as it cut a half-mile track through the area.

Callahan says crews were also assessing reported tornado touchdowns near Salem in Washington County and the Orange County town of Prospect.

Elizabeth resident Teresa Campbell tells WLKY-TV the tornado heavily damaged a barn and old school house on her property and stripped shingles from her home. Neighbor Matt Marion says the tornado "sounded like a big vacuum cleaner."

The storms were part of a weather system that affected a large area of the Midwest.

There were reports of possible tornadoes in Arkansas. A man was killed in Nashville, Tenn., when a tree fell on the shed where he took shelter.

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