At least one person was killed and another injured as storms battered southern Indiana and parts of the Ohio River Valley on Sunday, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of customers.
An official in Martin County, Ind., said one person was dead and another injured, but that responders were searching for victims and clearing trees from roadways. A tornado is suspected but not yet confirmed by meteorologists. “It’s out here in the middle of the woods,” Mandy Wolf, director of the county’s emergency response team, said by phone. “It’s a mess.”
In Johnson County, at least one tornado is possible near the town of New Whiteland, said Chad Swain, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. “We have other potential tornadoes, one in Martin County and one in Monroe County,” said Mr. Several homes were severely damaged, Swain said.
In northern Indiana, Porter County officials said Severe weather at a local BP refinery triggered an unplanned gas flare at the facility. Crews are managing the situation and there is no immediate danger to the community, officials said.
As of early Monday, fewer than 10,000 customers were without power in Indiana. According to the resistance.us, which aggregates data from applications. As far south as Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee, more than 300,000 customers were without power as storms battered communities.
Clips posted on social media appeared to show For the hurricane Through the city of Greenwood, Ind., litter is sent into the air. A dispatcher with the police department said officials in the city, which has a population of about 65,000, were still working to assess the damage. The dispatcher did not comment on whether anyone was injured or killed in the storm.
“Due to tornado damage in many areas around Johnson County, please stay away from areas affected by the weather this evening,” the Greenwood Fire Department said. said on FacebookIt urges people to drive with caution and plan alternate routes.
Cole Basie, a high school student in Greenwood, said he was at a friend’s graduation as the tornado approached. He and his friends took shelter in a basement and found fallen trees and a nearby house leveled. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Mr. Basie said. “So that scared us.”
At least 75 homes were damaged but no one was injured when a tornado struck a three- to four-mile-long area seven miles southwest of downtown Parkersville, officials said. News conference. Power lines are down and authorities are working to complete a secondary search of the affected areas, they said.
The Red Cross said it is coordinating with local authorities to determine the needs of affected communities. “These needs include shelter, access to food and water, health and mental health support and more,” company spokeswoman Stephanie Fox wrote via email, noting that the situation is “actively evolving.”
Mr. Swain, the meteorologist, said the thunderstorms were fueled by warm and humid air ahead of a cold front. Scientists are still unable to determine whether or not there is a link between climate change and the frequency or strength of hurricanes. Tornadoes are relatively small, short-lived weather events, and because of that, historical data on their prevalence in the past are limited; Scientists need at least 40 years of climate data so they can draw a causal link.
Tornadoes have been occurring in more “clusters” in recent years, researchers say, and an area of the country known as Tornado Alley is where most tornadoes occur. moving eastward. The timing of hurricane seasons is also becoming more unpredictable, the researchers found, with much earlier and later starts compared to decades ago. The reason for this is not clear.
Derrick Bryson Taylor Contributed report.