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High winds continue here today

October 27, 2010

STORM VICTIM ... This large tree was one of the victims of Tuesday's windstorm as it was blown down and hit a house on County Rd. 200 North, a half-mile east of US 27. A tornado alert was issued late Tuesday morning, but apparently no twister developed in the immediate area. (Photo by Eric Mann)

    A high-wind warning remained in effect for the Decatur area and much of northeast Indiana today, but no storms of the type that hit the area on Tuesday were expected.
    The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported in its morning edition that meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Syracuse confirmed that tornadoes touched down in Huntington, Whitley, Wabash and Van Wert counties. No serious injuries or deaths were reported.
    The newspaper said an EFI tornado — with winds of 73 to 112 mph — touched down near Bracken in Huntington County just before 10:30 a.m. It traveled six-tenths of a mile.
    About 10 minutes later, another tornado, an EF0 with wind speeds of 40 to 72 mph, hit the ground near Luther, the Journal Gazette said. That twister traveled two miles before lifting. Those twisters destroyed several buildings, including a grain bin.
    A short time later, an EFI tornado was confirmed near Peabody in Whitley County. It traveled two miles before lifting, according to the newspaper report.
    Other twisters were confirmed in Wabash and Van Wert County, Ohio. (See separate story.)
    No tornadoes were reported in Adams County, but sirens in the county went off at 10:50 a.m. The tornado warning the county was under was called off at 11:25 a.m.
    A number of trees and, according to reports, some power poles in the Berne area, were felled by the storm as it rolled through Adams County. The Adams County Higthway Department reported cutting up four trees which were downed on roads.
    Rainfall at the Decatur weather station totaled .58 of an inch.
    Nick Greenawalt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said winds were clocked at 65-70 mph in Allen County.
    “The intensity of the low-pressure system definitely contributed to the strong winds,” Greenawalt told the Journal Gazette. “It was one of the stronger ones we’ve seen in a while.”
    Greenawalt said the barometric pressure measured 975 millibars during Tuesday’s storm.
    The Blizzard of 1978, also created by a low-pressure system, measured 958 millibars, he said. Sea-level barometric pressure is around 1,000 millibars.
    Meteorologists consider pressure ratings of 980 to 995 millibars to be significant low-pressure ratings, he said.
    Although unseasonable warmth was continuing in the Decatur area today — sunny skies with a high near 70 were forecast — winds were blowing at 20 to 30 mph out of the southwest, with highs as high as 55 mph said possible.
    Temperatures are about to take a radical downward turn, with a  low around 40 predicted for this area tonight followed by highs in the mid-40s to low-50s Thursday and Friday, respectively.
    
Other damage
    One house is heavily damaged and six other structures have roof damage after a tornado hit east of downtown Kokomo on Tuesday.
    The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado also hit Wabash, blowing out windows and damaging a Wal-Mart store.
    A firefighter in Wanatah says he saw a funnel cloud in the area where a barn was destroyed and two homes severely damaged. John Sullivan says pieces of a pole barn were found a mile away.
    The National Weather Service says there was significant straight line wind damage near Greenfield, with wind speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
    One of the damaged homes in Wanatah, 30 miles southwest of South Bend, is owned by Linda Metzinger. She said she and her husband Robert were watching television when the storm hit and the house began to shake and move.
    She says it was terrifying and that the house had part of its roof and siding blown off.
    Winds from the Tuesday morning storm knocked a large antenna onto the roof of Lakeview Elementary School near Bloomington, but WISH-TV of Indianapolis reported that the building wasn’t damaged and no one was hurt.
    The Indiana Toll Road across the state’s northern tier temporarily banned long double trailers and triple trailers because of high winds Tuesday morning. Indianapolis International Airport reported some flight delays, particularly to other Midwestern destinations.
    —The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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