Bloomington, Ind.—Severe weather struck Central and Southern Indiana Monday night, bringing strong winds, hail and possibly tornadoes. The areas sustaining the most damage were south of Indianapolis.
One possible tornado touchdown was reported in Jackson County near Cortland, where a poultry barn was heavily damaged. Another possible tornado was reported southeast of Bedford in Lawrence County by local law enforcement.
Strong winds were also a problem for several areas including the cities of Bloomington and Franklin. A tree sliced through an apartment building in Bloomington. Authorities say the hardest hit area was a three-block radius just east and south of downtown. In addition to trees that toppled onto homes, a tree landed on top of the Siam House at 4th and Dunn.
Approximately 20 people were displaced following the storm, because of structual safety concerns to their homes. The Red Cross is helping those who need assistance. At the height of the storm, Duke Energy reported more than 11,000 customers without power. Utility crews continue to work to get the power back on for everyone.
Indiana University sent a tweet Tuesday morning, alerting students and staff on the Bloomington campus that crews will be out in force cleaning up storm debris.
In Franklin, the storm's strength twisted hotel signs along Interstate 65. The winds knocked a semi tractor-trailer over on I-65 near the Franklin exit. Southbound lanes were closed for several hours due to the cleanup. The winds also blew heavy wooden signs completely off their posts. Power was out throughout the city which turned stoplights into four-way stops. Large limbs came crashing down on cars at a local fraternity. Lightning in addition to the heavy winds, is being blamed for splitting 100-year-old trees in half there.
Homeowners on Jefferson Street found their yards littered with limbs. One homeowner told Fox59 News he nearly had his roof torn off.
"I don't ever think I've seen winds like that. It was pretty scary there for a little bit," said resident Leslie Wood.
The Wood family's 40-year-old pine tree was uprooted by heavy winds. Luckily, it fell in the opposite direction of their home. Even luckier was the fact that their dog wasn't inside his kennel when the storm came through.
"It completely lifted it up and flipped it over and turned it 90 degrees but luckily we had the dog in the garage with us too so he's fine too."
The chance for more severe weather is in the forecast for Central Indiana, especially on Wednesday, giving those affected by Monday night's storm only a short break before they will brace once again for mother nature's fury.