Southern Indiana Devastated By Tornadoes, Cleanup Continues

Residents in several Indiana cities face devastation after tornadoes whipped through the area.

  • Mitch Daniels

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    Governor Mitch Daniels speaks to members of the press in Henryville, Ind. The governor and Congressman Todd Young (R-9th) (right) traveled to several cities Saturday morning that were affected by the storm.

  • Auto Repair Store

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    An auto repair store sign lies in front of the ruins of Henryville Auto Service.

  • emergency worker

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    An emergency worker walks down one of the main streets in Henryville, Ind.

  • school bus

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    The tornado threw a school bus into a Henryville resident's house where several people were taking shelter in the basement.

  • Apartments

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    The walls of a building that housed a pizza parlor and second-floor apartments were torn off.

  • Tree on house

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    A tree fell on a house during the storms that affected several Southern Indiana cities Friday.

  • Storage yard

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    Metal pieces of a storage yard lay in heaps in Henryville, Ind.

  • Child's stroller

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    A child's stroller lies in the front yard of a house that was damaged by the tornado that devastated Henryville, Ind.

  • Two men walk through fallen trees

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    Two men walk through fallen trees amid house wreckage.

  • People cleaning wreckage

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    Henryville residents scavenge through the ruins of a house in Henryville, Ind.

  • Henryville High School

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    The insides of Henryville High School are exposed after a tornado pulled off the walls of the school.

  • Bus

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    The back windshields of a school bus are broken after a tornado, Friday, March 2, 2012.

  • Presbyterian Church

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    Photo: Gretchen Frazee/Indiana Public Media News

    Several residents took cover from the tornado in the Henryville Community Presbyterian Church.

Many residents in Clark County Indiana spent this weekend cleaning up debris and wreckage left behind by multiple tornadoes that came through the area Friday.

“You could see the funnel cloud coming, and then it went up,” Henryville resident Nick Shelton says. “We thought we were safe, until we saw the big one behind it, then, not so much.”

Shelton, the owner of Henryville Auto Service, was in his shop Friday afternoon when tornados ripped though the town. Homes and businesses were destroyed and at least one resident was killed. While Shelton and eight others took shelter in a neighbor’s basement, a 15-ton school bus came crashing through the front wall.

“Ears started popping, and we hear a big thud, and I guess that’s the school bus behind us,” he says.

With his auto shop completely destroyed, Shelton does not know if he will be able to continue the business.

“I opened in August, and been busy; got a lot of business, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to open it up again now,” he says.

Governor Mitch Daniels visited several towns in southern Indiana Saturday to survey the damage. Indiana National Guardsmen were already on the scene, helping utility works clear streets and help residents with the cleanup.

Update, 3/4/12, 2 p.m.: Governor Daniels has declared a disaster emergency in 11 Indiana counties: Clark, Gibson, Harrison, Jefferson, Posey, Ripley, Scott, Shelby, Vanderburgh, Warrick and Washington. Additionally, he issued an executive order waiving hours-of-service regulations related to motor carriers and drivers transporting utility poles. His press statement also indicated that the Department of Homeland Security would be conducting a full damage assessment, then responding to Indiana’s request for federal disaster assistance.

Dan Goldblatt

Dan Goldblatt is the Multi-media Producer for WFIU/WTIU News. A graduate of Indiana University, he studied journalism and anthropology. He currently lives in Bloomington with his cat, June Carter.

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