Atmosphere And Weather

Rare January Tornadoes Rip the Midwest

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"Rare January Tornadoes Rip the Midwest"
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Indiana is another of the many states that claims that if you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes, and it will change. They've certainly proven that old saying to be true this week. In southwestern Indiana, they've seen spring and summer temperatures, tornadoes, deadly winds, and snowstorms, all in the course of one week.

On Tuesday night, southwestern Indiana saw some very severe storms, and several tornadoes were confirmed. This part of Indiana is no stranger to winter-time tornadoes - in November 2005, 24 people were killed in one of the most devastating tornadoes to ever hit the Evansville area. I was on hand for that tornado, and one of my high school classmates was killed, along with her husband, young son, and unborn daughter.

Tuesday's storms killed two people, a mother age 83, and her daughter age 57, in the small town of Poseyville, when their trailer was thrown from its foundation by strong straight-line winds. The second story was completely ripped off of a home on the southern edge of Vanderburgh County, and tractor-trailers were flipped over in Evansville, Indiana, and Sailor Springs, Illinois. Several vehicles, including a semi, were blown off of US 41 near the Toyota plant in Princeton, Indiana. My mother works for a subsidiary company at that plant, and said that the second shift employees spent most of their shift sheltered in the stairwells.
A friend of mine was out in the storm, and here is her account of the happenings: "I had left my office in Evansville a little early last night in hopes of beating the storm home. I didn't make it. I was about half way down between Mackey and Fort Branch, heading West when I got slammed. I could see it coming but wasn't quite sure what to do. The hail was horrible. I had my foot on the gas pedal pushing it to the floor but was only going about 10 mph. I guess I understand that considering I was heading into the wind and it was about 70 mph. I called a friend and told him exactly where I was and if he didn't hear from me in a couple of hours to come looking for me. As soon as I hung up my car was lifted up off the road and moved across a small ditch into the corn field. Needless to say I was scared to death. Here is the kicker, there is no hail or wind damage to my car."

Thursday, this portion of the Hoosier state was once again under a storm warning - this time it's a severe winter storm warning. According to 14-WFIE television in Evansville, forecasters are predicting sleet and snow, with up to six inches of accumulation in some areas. The Princeton area, including "Toyota City" may see as much as eight inches of accumulation. Most schools began releasing students around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, and are already beginning to cancel classes for Friday. Residents are bracing for the worst of the storm, which should pass by midnight. The Gibson County Red Cross has a shelter open to help residents. There are still many homes without power after Tuesdays storms, and with tonight's snowstorm, many residents may need to seek a warm place to rest and a good hot meal from the Red Cross. If you or someone you know is in the Gibson County area, and is in need of assistance, you may go to Fire Station #1 on Vine Street in Fort Branch, Indiana. You can find more information at

Some of the information for this article obtained from 14WFIE.

More about this author: Maggie O'Leary

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