LOCAL NEWS

NWS asked to assess storm

The National Weather Service will visit the county tomorrow to determine what type of storm caused widespread damage.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency director Shari Harrington said she believes the damage could have been caused by either an EF-0 tornado or straight-line winds.

Harrington requested experts from the NWS look at the damage.

The worst-hit area seems to be along Memorial Drive near the Montgomery County Jail, she said.

EF-0 tornadoes are capable of producing winds below 73 mph, causing branches to be broken off of trees.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A line of severe thunderstorms packing strong winds and heavy rain blew through the area midday Tuesday, downing numerous trees and power lines and flooding roadways.

Police and highway department crews handled widespread reports of trees and lines blocking traffic. “Significant” power outages were reported in the area due to broken poles and transmission line damage.

Wind speeds as high as 60 mph were reported, said Brian Campbell, assistant emergency management director.

Winds blew an air handler from the roof of the Montgomery County Jail, causing water to pour into the kitchen. Other parts of the roof were damaged.

“I was standing inside the jail and the skies just blackened quickly and the next thing, the wind started blowing and it sounded like a jet engine taking off,” said Chief Deputy Sheriff Ryan Needham.

The jail was operating on generator power Tuesday afternoon.

Damage was also reported to area homes, outbuildings and crops

No injuries were reported.

A quarter to half inch of new rainfall was expected from Tuesday afternoon’s storms, according to the National Weather Service.

Severe storms are possible through Friday.

Storms over the next few days will have the potential to bring a few inches of rain to parts of central Indiana, according to the NWS.

With many locations already having saturated ground and elevated water levels, any additional rain would bring a return of flooding and make existing flooding worse, the weather service said.