Weather puts slight damper on holidays

Severe storms blowing through Bartholomew County on Wednesday caused minor property damage and power outages across the area.

Two blocks were evacuated between South and High streets on Aiken Street because of a gas fire, said Hope Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Chad Emmitt.

About 20 homes, including eight trailers, were cleared after lightning struck a gas line in the front yard of a home at 232 Aiken St., Emmitt said.

Residents were evacuated to the Hope Town Hall for about two hours while gas workers repaired the damage, said Hope Police Department Communications Officer Jon Dillman.

No injuries or property damage were reported, aside from damage to the lawn, Emmitt said.

Bartholomew County Emergency Operations dispatch logs show multiple reports of downed power lines and trees in several areas of the county starting at about 4 p.m.

Duke Energy reported about 1,500 customers experiencing outages at various times between 4 p.m. and midnight as a result of wind damage to power lines. Bartholomew County REMC reported an additional 100 customers without power starting at about 4:30 p.m.

An additional 80 REMC customers lost power after a vehicle struck a utility pole near 13140 County Road 400S at about 10 p.m.

Dispatch logs from the Jennings County 911 call center show several reports of fallen trees and minor damage to several structures in the area. However, no injuries were reported as a result of the weather.

Further north, the National Weather Service reported at least one EF-1 tornado touched down Wednesday in Greenwood. The twister tore through several homes before damaging a veterinary clinic.

More rain expected

The National Weather Service said Thursday that a flood warning remains in effect in the area of the Driftwood River near Edinburgh until further notice. As of 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning, waters are at about 7.2 feet above normal, and flooding will likely occur if rain causes the river to rise to about 11 feet.

Today’s forecast calls for clouds, southward winds at 10 to 15 mph, an 80 percent chance of rain during the day and a high of 66 degrees. A 100 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms are expected in the evening, resulting in 1 to 2 inches of rain.

Sunday’s forecast calls for clouds, northward winds of 10 to 20 mph, a 100 percent chance of rain in the morning, and a morning high of 56 degrees that will fall during the day.