One person was killed when a tornado toppled a home in Martin County, Indiana, as a storm front wreaked havoc across the Midwest and South on Sunday, authorities said.
Martin County Emergency Management Director Cameron Wolf confirmed the death and said the victim’s injured partner was airlifted to a hospital. The person’s condition was not available.
Wolf described the tornado damage as isolated.
Elsewhere, more homes were damaged, roads were blocked by tree limbs and debris, and large hail was reported as the same storm front moved through southern and central Indiana and adjacent states.
Multiple tornadoes were reported Sunday afternoon in central Indiana, the National Weather Service said. Forecasters believe that separate vortices caused structural damage in places like Greenwood and Bargersville.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who served as Indiana’s governor in the 2010s, tweeted«Our hearts go out to all the families affected by today’s devastating tornado in Greenwood, Indiana. We pray for all those affected and our first responders.»
Earlier in the day, Indianapolis-based weather service meteorologist Earl Breon said «home, crop and tree damage» was likely. In the evening, the weather service announced that damage assessment crews would be on the ground in Johnson County, Martin County and Southwest Monroe County Monday morning.
In the city of Bargersville, south of Indianapolis, Fire Chief Eric Funkhouser said no serious injuries were reported, but an estimated 75 homes sustained moderate to severe damage, according to the NBC affiliate. WTHR from Indianapolis.
Michael Pruitt, a spokesman for the Bargersville Fire Department, said some structures may have collapsed on a four-mile stretch of damaged land.
Bargersville fire officials said a secondary search was underway in the most heavily damaged neighborhoods Sunday night to ensure potential victims are reached and counted.
Emergency shelters were established throughout central Indiana for those whose homes were made uninhabitable by the tornadoes.
Breon said central Indiana residents also reported hail mostly in the 2-inch range, but with some examples up to 4 inches, big enough to dent vehicles and damage roofs.
Motorists who braved area roads were on the lookout for fallen branches and debris, he said.
The front, produced by cold air from the Great Lakes region moving south and east and colliding with a heat wave in the south, had moved southeast out of the state late overnight, with tornado watches and weather service warnings for Indiana easing.
The unstable line of thunderstorms helped knock out power to more than 728,000 utility customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia and Michigan, according to electricity tracker PowerOutage.us.
Courtney Brogle, Tavleen Tarrant and joe kottke contributed.