Straight-line winds and thunderstorms overnight Friday left a swath of downed trees in its wake, officials said.

Bartholomew County Emergency Management Director Shannan Hinton and her staff spent Saturday documenting the damage for the National Weather Service. Hinton said it appeared straight-line winds caused trees to fall into storage buildings and onto houses, primarily on the east side of the county.

A home on County Road 410E between Base Road and County Road 50N was damaged, along with a tree down and utility poles damaged in the area, according to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

The majority of damage was contained to the eastern portion of the county south of State Road 46 in about a 14-mile area, Hinton said.  Three locations may point to a weaker funnel attempt with no touchdown with Clifty Creek, Base Road, and Highland Ridge being the worst of the three, she said.

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Throughout the area, Hinton said two homes that were damaged, four outbuildings were destroyed, and one outbuilding had major damage. Most of the damage involved trees into outbuildings, Hinton said.

Tree damage also occurred on State Road 46 East just past Gnaw Bone in Brown County, when a tree blew over near a home at about 7:30 p.m. Friday.

No injuries were reported in Bartholomew or Brown counties.

On Saturday, the low areas that typically experience flooding first were showing signs of flooding, but no major problems were reported.

However, many storm drains in Columbus were clogged with debris from Friday night’s storms and were causing some streets and parking lots to have standing water as rain continued Saturday, Hinton said.

A short break in the weather at mid-day Saturday was expected to help get some of those drains moving water off the streets and parking lots, she said.

The National Weather Service has extended its flood warning for Bartholomew County through today as rainfall is predicted to continue, Hinton said.

The flood warning issued on Saturday also remains in effect for Jennings and Jackson counties today, the National Weather Service said.

Duke Energy reported more than 1,100 customers without power east of Columbus and about 500 customers without power southwest of Columbus on Saturday morning.

Chip Orben, Duke Energy spokesman, said those numbers were down from a high of about 6,500 customers in Bartholomew and Brown counties without power after Friday night’s storms.

The outages were caused by high winds which broke an estimated 20 poles throughout the two counties, he said.

Crews, some made up of outside contractors brought in by Duke to help, are continuing to assess the damage from the heavy winds and have not established a definite time when all customers will have power restored, Orben said.

More heavy storms into today could delay their progress, he said.

“We have more downed lines than we usually have with this kind of storm,” he said.

Orben asked anyone with a power outage to call Duke at 800-343-3525 to report it, and most importantly to stay away from any downed power lines, which also may be contained in trees that have fallen.

Reporting a power outage

Duke Energy asks those who have a power outage in their service area to call 800-343-3525 or visit the company’s website at

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.