Multiple suspected tornadoes leave trail of damage across Midwest


A severe storm front hit the Midwest Thursday, spurring multiple suspected tornadoes in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky which damaged homes and knocked out power to thousands, authorities said.

Storm damage in Indiana was reported in the east central city of Winchester, according to Indiana State Police, but it was unclear if there were any fatalities or injuries. 

Joseph Nield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, said it was highly likely a tornado caused significant damage in the Winchester area, based on radar data and reports from storm spotters and local officials.

“It appears that is the most significant damage that we’ve had reported to us,” he said.

A Facebook post on the Winchester Community High School page said all the schools in that school district would be closed on Friday. Another post said the high school had electricity and was open for emergency use for people who “need somewhere warm and dry.

Preliminary assessments indicated that “up to 50%” of structures Selma, Indiana, a small town located about 25 miles west of Winchester, had sustained tornado and storm damage, the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management reported. Delaware County said that only minor injuries had been reported so far, and only one person was taken to a hospital.

Officials were aware of a suspected tornado that had struck western Ohio’s Logan County northwest of Columbus on Thursday evening, Helen Norris, director of the Logan County Emergency Management Agency, told CBS News in an email.

Photos posted to social media showed what appeared to be extensive residential damage in the Logan County community of Indian Lake.

Earlier in the night, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office reported that the county had been under a tornado warning.

The suspected tornado was also believed to have caused damage in neighboring Mercer County, Ohio. The Mercer County Emergency Management Agency told CBS News that three people in the town of Celina sustained non-life-threatening injuries, two of whom were hospitalized. 

As of Thursday night, about 34,000 customers were without power in Ohio, according to utility tracker

Storms also damaged homes and trailers in the Ohio River community of Hanover, Indiana.

The sheriff’s office for Indiana’s Jefferson County, which includes Hanover, reported on Facebook Thursday evening that “tornadoes touched down in several locations,” damaging “multiple homes and structures.” It’s unclear if there were any injuries. 

Gayle Liter and his wife told CBS affiliate WKLY that their Hanover home, which they had just moved into about three months ago, was destroyed by the tornado.

“Total destruction, the inside, everything,” Liter said.

A home destroyed by a suspected tornado in Jefferson County, Indiana. March 14, 2024. 

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook

Sgt. Stephen Wheeles of the Indiana State Police posted photos of the damage to Jefferson County on social media showing one home with its roof torn off and another missing roof shingles, as well as an image of a baseball-sized hailstone.

Around 2,000 Duke Energy customers in Hanover lost power at one point during the storms, the company reported.

In Kentucky, Trimble County Emergency Management Director Andrew Stark said the storms damaged at least 50 structures, including homes.

“We have a whole bunch of damage,” Stark told the Lousiville Courier Journal.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear issued a statement saying a tornado touched down along the Indiana state border in Gallatin and Trimble counties and there were reports of some minor injuries.

He urged Kentuckians to stay aware of the weather as more storms were expected across the state Thursday evening and overnight.

“It does appear that there is some really significant damage, especially to the town of Milton in Trimble County,” Beshear said. “We think there are over 100 structures that are potentially damaged.”

The state’s emergency operations center was activated to coordinate storm response, Beshear said.

Large pieces of hail also were reported in parts of the St. Louis area this afternoon.

On Wednesday night, a supercell thunderstorm spun up a tornado as severe weather moved through Alta Vista, Kansas. The hail, some larger than softballs, battered parts of northern Kansas. 


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