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Tornado warned storms leave paths of damage in central Indiana

Sullivan County performing search and rescue after severe damage, Whiteland facing heavy damage
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Posted at 12:26 AM, Apr 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-01 13:37:54-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As tornado-warned storms moved across central Indiana Friday night and into Saturday morning, many counties faced heavy rain, strong winds and possible tornadoes.

Sullivan County

In Sullivan County, EMA Director Jim Pirtle simply described the damage to the county as "terrible".

Early Saturday, Indiana State Police confirmed at least three people died in the storm.

Sheriff Jason Bobbitt shared this update on Facebook just before 7 a.m.

"It is far too early to know the extent of the devastation, however we can tell you that there is a line of damage covering several miles, starting west of Sullivan in the rural New Lebanon area, extending eastward through Sullivan," Bobbitt said. "In the city of Sullivan, the path of destruction follows nearly a straight line, parallel with Silver Street.
Homes in both the city and county are severely damaged and some are completely leveled."

He also explained Sullivan City Hall and area churches have been opened up as safe shelters.

Owen and Monroe counties

Owen and Monroe counties were among the areas with big impact as well.

In Martinsville, storms ripped siding and roofing off of apartment buildings, tore steeples off of churches and left a trail of tree damage across city streets.

WRTV

According to Owen County EMA Director Jack White, the county was immediately seeing reports of trees down and possible damage at McCormick's Creek State Park.

On Saturday morning, the City of Martinsville Fire Department reported that they responded to 46 incidents within the city's limits, including two building fires, more that a dozen buildings with structural damage, and multiple power lines and trees down.

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Johnson County/Whiteland

In Johnson County, notable damage was done in the Whiteland area — including damage and debris across Interstate 65.

Overnight, Whiteland High School was opened to residents who are without power and needed a place to escape the conditions.

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Semi flipped on Interstate 65 in Johnson County from wind

The National Weather Service shared with media early Saturday morning they will send out multiple crews to inspect damage and confirm apparent tornadoes throughout central Indiana.

Widespread power outages remain in central Indiana. As of 11:45 a.m., Duke Energy reports more than 31,000 remain without power in Indiana.

In Indianapolis, nearly 6,000 remain without power.

WRTV will continue to update this story as we speak with more officials in our coverage area.