Unseasonably warm temperatures caused havoc across Central and Southern Indiana Sunday afternoon, with severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings being issued – and the Indiana University Men’s basketball game being delayed at one point.
Power was also out in much of Salem for about 90 minutes with several hundred Duke Energy customers out and almost 1600 customers of Jackson County Rural Electric out in the afternoon due to high winds.
According to Washington County Emergency Management Director Desi Alexander, the National Weather Service detected a tornado touchdown somewhere by West Washington School Corporation in the area of Mt. Tabor Road.
According to the NWS, a classic Tornado Debris Signature was reported just to the West of Salem in Washington County.
Another warning area was indicated North on 135.
They also will be investigating Tornado touchdowns in Orange County and at two locations in Washington County this afternoon.
However, Superintendent Keith Nance said this morning there was no indication of damage to the school.
Alexander said there were trees uprooted in a rural area around Mt. Tabor Road and possibly a home with some siding damaged.
The NWS issued a tornado warning for Washington County at 11:01p – after several others were called and dismissed earlier in the day in Lawrence, Jackson, Orange and Jennings Counties.
Rotation was initially indicated by radar in the Livonia area and the storm was tracking quickly east to Salem.
Damage was reported to the north fence of the Salem High School Football field, with some advertising signs damaged and a large section of the fence ripped from the posts.
There was a medical vehicle damaged in the St. Vincent Hospital lot as well as a small cargo trailer and a light pole knocked down near the high school.
A transformer in the area was also on fire.
Electric poles were also down on Water Street and Main Street, where damage was also reported at the Dinner Bell restaurant and with several vehicles at Eddie Gilstrap Motors.
A large tree fell across South High Street, blocking traffic.
Another tree was across the road at Bee Line Road, where a motorist in a truck tried to drive over parts of tree and damaged his truck.
A resident along the road cut up and removed part of the tree and a county snow plow came and pushed the rest of the tree over into the ditch.
After a weekend where many mulched leaves and cleaned their yards, those yards were strewn with sticks and limbs from trees after the winds hit 40 and 50 mph during the day.
Lights flickered in Salem around 2p and finally went out for portions of the city about 2:45p.
WSLM lost power as well as Walmart, and most areas north of the public square.
Power was restored to Duke Customers about 3:48p.
WSLM will continue following the story throughout the day and provide updates here on wslmradio.com as well as on air.