RAW VIDEO: Alro Steel in Beech Grove damaged by possible tornado
Matt Kryger, IndyStar
10:30 p.m. update: Photos and videos show extensive damage around Beech Grove.
The Indianapolis Fire Department tweeted pictures from inside of Beech Grove High School, where the roof has been blown off of some rooms.
An IndyStar visual journalist captured footage and photos of a business that had a large section of wall ripped out.
Pictures of damage from around Indiana
9:30 p.m. update: As the severe weather threat shifts into eastern Indiana, pictures and videos posted online are showing damage in Beech Grove, Columbus and other parts of the state.
Indianapolis and portions of the surrounding counties are under a flood warning. A tornado warning is still in effect for Vernon, Butlerville and surrounding areas in southern Indiana.
IMPD warns of flooded roads to avoid
8:50 p.m. update: After receiving rain much of the day and strong storms in the early evening, some Indianapolis roads are covered with water, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.
The areas near Raymond Street and Emerson Avenue, as well as Shadeland Avenue and Washington Street have high water and should be avoided, according to IMPD.
Police are getting reports that motorists are driving in the wrong lanes to get around the water, and Officer Michael Hewitt cautioned that people in cars should avoid driving through high water as it can be “very dangerous and deadly.”
Any Beech Grove resident seeking shelter from the storms can do so at The Hornet Park Community Center, IMPD said. Pictures and videos of damage in Beech Grove are being published on Facebook and Twitter.
Two possible tornadoes near Bloomington
8:45 p.m. update: Early indications are that two tornadoes touched down in the south-central part of the state: one northeast of Freetown and another in the Ellettsville area, National Weather Service Meteorologist Brad Herold told IndyStar.
Crews will go to those areas Sunday to survey damage and further determine the strengths of the tornadoes, Herold said.
Damage reports trickle in from Beech Grove area
8:30 p.m. update: Damage reports are coming in from southeastern Indianapolis, specifically the Beech Grove area.
Indianapolis Power & Light Co. is reporting more than 3,500 customers without power, with a cluster of outages around Beech Grove.
Severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado warning are still in effect east and south of the Indianapolis area.
Power outages reported in Indianapolis
8:05 p.m. update: The tornado warning for Marion County has expired, but warnings remain in effect for areas in Southern Indiana.
More than 3,000 power outages are reported on the south east side of Indianapolis, according to Indianapolis Power & Light Co.
Flooding concerns in Monroe County
7:50 p.m. update: A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located 10 miles east of Indianapolis, moving east at 25 miles per hour, NWS said.
In Monroe County, the Weather Service said flooding concerns remain.
Tornado warning issued for Marion County
7:35 p.m. update: A tornado warning has been issued for southeastern Marion County.
The storm is heading toward Cumberland and Spring Lake, the NWS said
Law enforcement confirms Bloomington tornado
7:20 p.m. update: National Weather Service Meteorologist Joe Skowronek told IndyStar that a tornado has been confirmed visually by law enforcement near Bloomington.
NWS confirms tornado near Bloomington
7 p.m. update: At 6:50 p.m., NWS confirmed a tornado was located nine miles northwest of Bloomington, moving northeast at 30 miles per hour.
A tornado warning remains in effect for Bloomington, Clear Creek, Smithville and surrounding areas until 7:45 p.m.
Severe thunderstorm warning issued for southern Marion County
6:50 p.m. update: The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for northern Monroe and south central Morgan counties.
Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter mobile homes “will be damaged or destroyed,” the warning said. Damage to roofs, windows and vehicles is also expected to occur, and tree damage is likely.
A severe thunderstorm warning has also been issued for southern parts of Marion County and Indianapolis.
It is set to expire at 7:15 p.m. The storm could bring winds up to 60 mph and penny-sized hail.
Storms approach Indianapolis area
6:30 p.m. update: A line of storms approaching Marion County and the counties surrounding it has triggered severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado warnings in counties in southwestern portions of the state.
A severe thunderstorm warning for Plainfield, Mooresville, Monrovia and surrounding areas was set to expire at 6:45 p.m. The storm could bring winds up to 70 mph and penny-sized hail, according to the National Weather Service.
Farther south, the storm system triggered a tornado warning for Linton, Midland and surrounding areas. The storm contained a radar-indicated tornado and had the possibility of quarter-sized hail, according to NWS.
Tornado watch issued
4 p.m. update: The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for most of south-central Indiana until 10 p.m.
NWS meteorologist Andrew White said there’s a risk for severe weather through Saturday evening, but a tornado touchdown is more likely to happen after 5 p.m. and south of Interstate 70.
“The main things we’re concerned with across the central part of the state are lightning and gusty winds,” White said. Thunderstorms are also still expected into early Sunday morning, he said, with another inch of rain still possible.
“We want to make sure everyone has a plan in place in case there is severe weather,” White said. “Those in the watch areas should keep their eyes on any changes to the weather or forecast.”
Several inches of rain expected
10 a.m.: You may need more than just an umbrella to combat storms that could last through next week.
The National Weather Service in Indianapolis issued a flash flood watch on Saturday morning, which is in effect from 11 a.m. Saturday until 8 a.m. Sunday morning. The watch includes Marion County and each county that surrounds it.
Thunderstorms are possible at any time throughout the day Saturday. The main threats from the thunderstorms will be flash flooding and damaging winds.
Joseph Nield, a meteorologist with the NWS in Indianapolis, said 1 to 3 inches of rain is possible through Sunday morning, with higher amounts likely in central and northern areas of Central Indiana.
Rainfall levels could be different in different areas, Nield said, because thunderstorms are variable in nature.
Lightning is also possible, and an isolated tornado “cannot be ruled out,” NWS said. “Marginally severe hail” around 1 inch in diameter is also possible, Nield said.
While storms are possible anytime, severe storms are more likely in the afternoon and evening Saturday. Flash flooding is more likely to happen in the afternoon or overnight, NWS said.
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Concerts across Indianapolis this weekend were postponed or canceled due to the forecast, and bands scheduled to play at the Holy Rosary Italian Street Festival were canceled.
The festival’s Marian Procession was also canceled. Masses scheduled for 4 and 7 p.m. were scheduled to proceed.
Nield said areas in Central Indiana with poor drainage and areas near small creeks and streams are most prone to flooding. Urbanization poses a flooding risk, he added, as concrete and blacktop are impervious to water, which causes water to run off into nearby bodies of water.
“Flood waters are nothing to mess around with,” Nield said. “They’re just something to steer clear of all together.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency says when a Flash Flood Watch is issued, you should be prepared to move to higher ground on short notice. Here are some actions FEMA says you can take to stay safe:
- Monitor local weather reports.
- Consider how you will stay informed if there is a power outage. Think about having extra batteries for your battery-operated radio or cell phone, and consider having your cell phone charger on-hand.
- Create an evacuation plan.
Storms could continue Sunday through Friday, NWS said. Strong storms are possible Sunday, and lightning is possible anytime through Friday. Repeated rainfall, if it occurs, could lead to moderate widespread flooding throughout the week.
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Just because the Flash Flood Watch ends Sunday morning doesn’t mean flash flooding after Sunday morning isn’t possible, Nield said. Anywhere from 2 to 4 inches of rain is possible through Friday next week, he said.
IndyStar reporters David Lindquist and Chris Sims contributed to this report.
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