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Severe weather could bring strong winds, tornadoes and widespread damage to central Indiana

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 23:55:50-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The National Weather Service is warning Hoosiers to prepare for severe weather Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning as a “rare, unique and dangerous” system is expected to hit the area.

The storm system, which should bring thunderstorms into most of central Indiana, is expected to bring heavy rain, strong winds up to 70 and 80 miles per hour, and tornadoes.

Ahead of Friday night’s storm, the National Weather Service, Mayor Joe Hogsett, and other emergency management officials held a joint press conference in downtown Indianapolis.

Warning Coordination Meteorologist Sam Lashley said the nature of the storm, as well as the timing, makes it serious.

“This is a very rare, unique, and dangerous setup for December, we typically do not see conditions like this,” Lashley said. The overnight nature makes it especially serious and vulnerable because people will be asleep and not have access to warnings.”

The most severe weather is expected between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

“Don’t let your guard down,” Lashley said. “Storms may not be initially severe, but the severe risk is there throughout the entire evening.”

The threat for tornadoes is in the mid-range, but the threat for strong and damaging winds is the most severe, Lashley said.

Lashley says their goal in alerting Hoosiers early is to make sure that they are prepared and have the supplies they may need.

This includes:

  • Having a weather radio charged and ready
  • Make sure cell phones are fully charged
  • Have a plan in place for where to go if a tornado warning is issued

“We hope for the best, but we have to plan for the worst and there is that potential for these significant and severe storms and tornadoes tonight,” Lashley said.

The city of Indianapolis also provided the following weather safety and preparedness tips to keep residents safe:

  • Pay attention to weather reports, warnings of thunderstorms, and alerts that conditions could lead to a tornado. Be ready to change plans, if necessary.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and trees and report them immediately. Report fallen power lines and power outages to AES at 317-261-8111.
  • Secure any outside furniture or decorations to minimize any property damage from high winds.
  • If a tornado warning is issued, find shelter immediately. Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls. If driving, do not stop under an overpass or bridge. A low, flat location is safer.
  • When thunder roars, go indoors. A sturdy building is the safest place to be during a thunderstorm.
  • If streets become impassable with dangerously high water or fallen tree debris, do not pass through it.

For more information on how to stay safe and develop a severe weather plan, click here.