Thunderstorms moving across northern Indiana have brought heavy rains, strong winds and hail, causing scattered damage and flooding.
The National Weather Service issued tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings in several spots around the state on Wednesday as storm fronts moved in from the west.
Golf ball size hail from a midday storm between Fort Wayne and Columbia City was reported to the weather service. Some roads flooded in northern Indiana's Kosciusko County after nearly an inch of rain fell in less than a half hour.
Midday storms also blew down trees near West Lafayette. A tornado was reported in Bedford and three other Southern Indiana locations on tonight, but the remnants of a storm that caused devastation and death in three states west of Indiana brought mostly high winds and hail to the Indianapolis area.
At least 12 people were reported injured in the tornado near Bedford, but none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening, according to 1st Sgt. Brian Olehy of the Indiana State Police.A funnel cloud was spotted by firefighters near Findlay but we have no reports of damage at this time. We are also getting reports of Memorial Hospital in Hicksville (near the Indiana state line in Defiance County) is sandbagging around the facility to prevent flooding.INDIANAPOLIS - Thunderstorms moving across Indiana brought heavy rains, strong winds and large hail to much of the state. Scattered damage and power outages were reported.
Several tornado touchdowns were reported. Near Bedford, State Police were checking homes for injured residents after five homes were flattened. Eight people were injured. In Greensburg, damage was extensive, including downed trees, buildings destroyed and a semi overturned.
Large trees were down in Columbus, and a storm spotter reported three barns damaged and a silo down at 250 East and 100 South.
A tornado watch was in effect for much of central Indiana Wednesday until 2:00 am.
The National Weather Service placed central Indiana under a high risk for severe weather including potential tornadoes, an unusual move that indicates the potential with these storms. That's only happened a few times in the past six years, and one of those occurrences was Indy 500 race day 2004, which spawned tornadoes.
Hail, heavy rains and high winds were reported in Martinsville, Greenwood and many other towns and cities across central Indiana.
39,000 Duke Energy customers were without power at the height of the outages.
Joe Wainscott with Indiana Homeland Security spoke to Eyewitness News at Noon from the agency's emergency operations center. He said central Indiana residents need to pay attention to what's going on.
Wainscott said it was unusual for Indiana to be in the NWS' "high risk" category for tornadoes. "We're typically a moderate to low risk in any of these storms. But we're paying very close attention to it and obviously with the events of the last several days - Alabama, Missouri and Oklahoma last night, we're very concerned and watching these storms very carefully."
Homeland Security entails the whole of public safety, Wainscott explained. "Emergency management is one part of our responsibilities and we work very closely with our partners around the state to support that in times when their resources might be overwhelmed, whether it's a natural disaster or a terrorist event."
Although severe weather is the focus Wednesday, Wainscott is also looking at issues like flooding and long-term recovery.
"The real work, as I often tell folks in emergency management, is in the recovery period. Helping folks get back to some sense of new normalcy," he said.
Thursday, scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible, at this time, we're not looking at severe storms. Highs will reach the upper 60s.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, all include a slight chance of rain as temps warm up into the 80s by the end of the weekend