Tornado Destroys 20 Homes, Cuts Power In Washington, Ind.

Perhaps 40 homes in the southwest Indiana city were destroyed or damaged in the storm. Much of the city of 11,000 spent Sunday night without power.

A tornado that ripped through Washington, Ind., twisted this home off of its foundation. A neighbor says its occupants moved out two weeks ago.

Photo: Kyle Stokes / WFIU News

A tornado that ripped through Washington, Ind., twisted this home off of its foundation. A neighbor says its occupants moved out two weeks ago.

Most Washington, Ind., residents spent the night without power after a tornado tossed power lines and destroyed perhaps 20 homes.

No one was seriously injured, says Daviess County Red Cross disaster chairman J.D. Bechtel, but he estimates another 20 homes sustained serious damage.

“It’s like the house just exploded from the pressure and everything,” says Roger Watson, whose home was “totaled” in the storm. The tornado sheared off the front end of his house, along with part of the roof and signficant chunks of the alumnium siding and chimney.

Watson says he saw the tornado race down the alley behind his house, flattening three of his neighbors garages before its winds forced him back into his home.

“It was moving fast. The wind and everything was unbelievable. It literally picked me up off the ground and threw me back inside my house,” Watson recalls. When he emerged, he found his neighborhood on Washington’s southwest side was transformed into “a warzone.”

Police Chief Mike Healy says with so many power lines down, it’s not clear when electricity will be back on in the city.

“The lines that are up, there’s a lot of metal into them. They’re afraid if they kick them on, it may blow more stuff,” Healy says.

Kyle Stokes

Kyle Stokes joined WFIU/WTIU in 2011 as an education reporter and blogger for StateImpact Indiana, a collaborative reporting venture between WFIU and NPR News. He comes to Bloomington from Columbia, Mo., where he was a producer and reporter for NPR member station KBIA-FM and NBC affiliate KOMU-TV. Originally from Minneapolis, Minn., Stokes is a proud graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and an even prouder Minnesota Twins fan.

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  • Sarah Yochum Mayhall

    Our community is really pulling together to get things cleaned up. Our community has a lot of heart and sole, and we’re very grateful that no one was killed.

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