Possible tornadoes, severe weather slam Indiana, Ohio

Possible tornadoes, severe weather slam Indiana, Ohio

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Severe thunderstoms and possible tornadoes are blamed for damage in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. One possible tornado tore through Celina, Ohio, injuring at least eight people. (Nov. 6) AP

INDIANAPOLIS — Severe storms battered Indiana on Sunday, bringing two reported tornadoes and causing damage in multiple counties in the state. In Ohio, Sunday’s severe weather left thousands without power.

Initial National Weather Service reports on Sunday night documented downed power lines, 65-mile per hour winds and an inch or more of rain around the state. Around 2 p.m. two tornadoes were reported, the first near Brownstown in Jackson County, Ind., and the second near Portland in Jay County, Ind.

The weather service probably will deploy at least one survey team Monday to get a better sense of the damage and confirm the two tornadoes, said weather service meteorologist Joseph Nield.

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Central Indiana was under a tornado watch for most of the afternoon and early evening, according to the National Weather service, followed by a flash flood watch into the night.

While not the norm, Neild said he wouldn’t necessarily call this severe weather unusual for November in Indiana. The state has seen even more extreme severe weather around this time in the past, he said, including an outbreak of tornadoes that lasted for days in 2002.

A key ingredient for these storms is strong winds, which are common in the fall, Neild said. Sunday’s weather was brought in with a cold front.

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In northeast Ohio, more than 47,000 were without power Monday morning, according to FirstEnergy. The utility said some customers could be without power for days.

Mercer County, Ohio, officials say six people were hurt when a restaurant in Celina was damaged during Sunday’s storms. One person was injured at another business, and one was hurt in a car crash after a utility pole fell. The injuries weren’t believed to be life-threatening.

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The National Weather Service plans to review damage in Ohio to confirm whether one or more twisters struck the area.

A historic Indiana gym in downtown Muncie was damaged with an apparent gaping hole in the west side of the building. Authorities told The (Muncie, Ind.) Star Press a tornado may have touched down downtown, although it was not immediately confirmed. Numerous trees, limbs and utility lines also were downed Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday night, Muncie Community Schools cancelled classes for K-8 on Monday and announced an online learning day for high schoolers “due to damage.”

Jay County emergency dispatch told The Star Press on Sunday that many calls were coming in to 911, reporting structures damaged or downed by a tornado. One call over the emergency scanner reported an injury to someone who had been hit by a door.

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Jay Schools canceled classes on Monday because of the storm damage and power outages.

Many Ohio schools either canceled classes or delayed openings because of power outages.

Multiple utility poles and lines were reported down in Madison County, Ind., according to National Weather Service reports. A shed on the south side of Tipton was destroyed by a 64-mile per hour wind gust, reports said.

The weather also delayed the start of the men’s college basketball exhibition between Indiana University and the University of Indianapolis. A warning said a thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located 12 miles north of Bedford and was moving east at 30 mph. Fans at Assembly Hall were originally moved to shelter, and Indiana University officials advised students to take shelter campus-wide.

Neild said the weather looks “quiet” for the next week. He expects temperatures to be cool but dry, “much more like what you’d expect in November.”

Contributing: WKYC-TV, Cleveland; The Associated Press. Follow Justin L. Mack and Emma Kate Fittes on Twitter: @justinlmack and @IndyEmmaKate

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