National Weather Service to investigate county storm damage

Representatives from the National Weather Service will be in Bartholomew County Monday to confirm whether storm damage from Friday night was caused by straight line winds.

Shannan Hinton, director of Bartholomew County Emergency Management, said a check of the damage on Saturday indicated that straight line winds damaged two homes, destroyed four outbuildings and damaged one outbuilding in the county Friday night. Most of the damage was contained to the eastern portion of the county south of State Road 46, Hinton said.

However, three locations identified by emergency management indicate a weaker funnel attempt with no touchdown with Clifty Creek, Base Road and Highland Ridge areas being the worst of those areas, she said.

Bartholomew County officials are investigating reports that the county’s tornado sirens did not sound until about 16 minutes after the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the county Friday night. The tornado warning was sent at about 7:50 p.m., but the sirens did not activate until 8:06 p.m., local residents reported. Hinton said the county’s emergency dispatch is pulling records and data to determine what may have caused a delay.

Duke Energy reported that crews expected to have power restored to customers in Brown, Bartholomew and Monroe counties by 6 p.m. Sunday night. At mid-day Sunday, there were 170 Duke Energy customers without power in Bartholomew County and 160 customers without power in Brown County. Bartholomew County REMC reported it was down to six customers without power Sunday afternoon and hoped to have them reconnected within hours.

For more on this story, see Monday’s Republic.