Tornado and other severe weather kill 3, damage homes, and knock out power in multiple states
Jun 26, 2023, 3:10 AM | Updated: 4:54 pm
SHOALS, Ind. (AP) — A tornado struck an Indiana home, killing a man and injuring his wife, while two people died in Arkansas after a tree fell onto a house, as severe weather rumbled through several central states.
The tornado that hit the home Sunday evening was part of a storm system that pushed through a rural, wooded area of southern Indiana’s Martin County.
The injured woman was flown by helicopter to a hospital, said Cameron Wolf, Martin County’s emergency management director. The newer, log cabin-style house was leveled as a storm that also had large hail and other strong winds raked the area about 85 miles (140 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis.
“The home that was totally destroyed, just a few feet away they had a shop building that is perfectly good,” Wolf said. “I mean, didn’t even touch it.”
Another tornado touched down Sunday afternoon in the suburban Indianapolis communities of Greenwood and Bargersville, officials said.
Bargersville Fire Chief Erik Funkhouser said at least 75 homes suffered moderate to severe damage as the latter tornado crossed Indiana State Road 135 in the area of Interstate 69. Crews did not find any deaths or injuries from the tornado, which officials estimated was on the ground for about 15 minutes.
Kimber Olson, 42, told her 8-year-old son to sit in the bathtub while she stood outside and recorded video of what looked like two cyclones circling toward her apartment in Bargersville
“The sound is deafening,” Olson told The Indianapolis Star. “You’ll never forget the sound. Your ears pop in such a strange way. You get a ring in your ear.”
When the tornado got closer, she went inside, closed all the doors and jumped in the bathtub with the boy. She heard glass explode as her window shattered.
In Arkansas, sheriff’s officials said two people were killed and a third was injured Sunday night in the central community of Carlisle when a tree fell onto a home, KTHV-TV reported.
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared a state of emergency, citing numerous downed power lines in the state. The National Guard said it was providing potable water to the community of West Helena, in eastern Arkansas, after water service was knocked out overnight.
High winds also caused tens of thousands of homes and businesses to lose electricity in Arkansas, Michigan and Tennessee.
In the city of Millington, north of Memphis, officials reported multiple rescues from homes and cars and planes overturned at the city’s small airport. No injuries were immediately reported. The fire department reported extensive wind damage that knocked down trees, leading to road closures.
The storm knocked out power to more than 120,000 customers in the Memphis area, with most of those still without electricity on Monday, utility officials said. Repairs were expected to last days, and with temperatures forecast to reach the 90s on Tuesday, residents who need relief from the heat were advised to seek it in air-conditioned places such as libraries, malls or large stores.
“I ask that everyone presently without power plan to be out for several days’ time and that our customers who do have power help their friends and neighbors where and when you can,” Doug McGowen, president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas and Water, said in a statement.
A boil water advisory was issued for a narrow section of Shelby County north of Memphis that is not densely populated.
In the Southeast, a prominent Atlanta real estate agent was killed by a falling tree Sunday as a fast-moving line of thunderstorms pushed through the city, downing branches and temporarily knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of customers.
George Heery Jr., 55, was out for a walk in the Buckhead neighborhood when the tree fell on him, police told news outlets. Heery was the son of architect George Heery Sr., who helped design Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the Georgia Dome and other prominent Atlanta structures.
“An unspeakable tragedy has occurred,” his son Liam Heery wrote Sunday on Facebook.
By Monday afternoon, power had been restored to all but 35,000 customers scattered over the northern two-thirds of the state.
The story has been updated to correct the spelling of Johnson County.