Tornadoes Reported as Severe Weather Tears Through Midwest

Severe storms tore through three Midwestern states on Thursday, producing a tornado in northwestern Ohio and damaging dozens of homes in eastern Indiana.

In Indiana, local officials said they believed a tornado had hit a trailer park in Winchester according to 13 WTHR, an NBC News affiliate, and a pastor said his church had been destroyed. Meteorologists said they were working to confirm that a tornado had touched down there.

“Radar data and reports from spotters and local officials are highly suggestive of a tornado,” Joseph Nield, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, said on Thursday.

A Weather Service team will travel to Winchester on Friday morning to assess the situation, he added.

Andy Price, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church, in downtown Winchester, said that not much was left of his church. The roof was gone, and the church’s maintenance shed had vanished, he said, adding that he believed the morning light would reveal more damage.

In southeastern Indiana, in Jefferson County, officials reported extensive damage, Sgt. Stephen Wheeles of the Indiana State Police said on social media. “A tornado has reportedly touched down all across Jefferson County, Indiana,” he wrote. “Multiple homes are damaged, with trees and power lines down.” He also posted photos of large hail that fell.

Matt True, director of the emergency management agency in Jefferson County, said at least two tornadoes had appeared to touch down there, damaging 29 homes. The county was under a severe thunderstorm warning Thursday afternoon when the apparent tornado emerged, and they were bracing for another storm carrying a tornado warning to hit around midnight, he said.

Two people suffered minor injuries, he said.

“This one popped out of nowhere. There was no warning,” he said.

Farther north in Indiana, nearly half of all structures were damaged in the town of Selma, though only minor injuries were reported, according to a statement from the Delaware County Emergency Management Agency.

The probable tornado crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky’s Trimble County, where the emergency management director, Andrew Stark, said that 20 to 30 homes had been severely damaged, with some roofs shorn off and walls destroyed.

The main feeder power line for the county was down, leaving 85 percent of households without power as of Thursday night, he said. There were no deaths and two minor injuries, he said.

“It’s a mess,” Mr. Stark said.

Over 55,000 customers were without power in Indiana and Kentucky, according to

Earlier Thursday night, the National Weather Service in Cleveland warned that a “very dangerous half mile wide tornado” was damaging homes and structures. It later wrote on social media that it was monitoring two tornadic rotations, one in Crawford County, just south of Chatfield and another in northern Ashland County, near Nankin and Polk.

Officials in Ohio said they were assessing severe damage to a lakeside mobile home community near Lakeview, Ohio.

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