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River rising and more rain likely

April 21, 2011

STORM AFTERMATH ... Roofing, siding, and insulation littered the landscape along County Rd. 400 West in southern Adams County early Wednesday morning from building damage caused by severe wind in a storm late Tuesday night. (Adams County EMA Photo)

    The St. Marys River in Decatur rose another two-plus feet in the past 24 hours, but was still far short of causing any significant problems .. at this point.
    City weather station officials said this morning that the river stood at 16.23 feet at 7 a.m., up from the 13.9-foot reading 24h hours earlier and 11 1/2 feet from a 4.8-foot reading on Tuesday.
    While the river is not troublesome at this stage, more rain is on the way. The National Weather Service said there is a 70 percent chance of rain after 2 a.m. Friday and a 70 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday afternoon — then an 80 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday night.
    More rain is seen for Saturday morning, then chances taper off until rising back to 50 percent by Sunday night.
    Meanwhile, temperatures are due to remain on the cool side, near 54 today and near 48 on Friday before moving to the mid 60s on Saturday and Sunday. Brisk winds are predicted Friday and Saturday.
    A high of only 44 was registered in Decatur on Wednesday and this morning's low was a frosty 35.
       
14 tornadoes in Indiana
    Meanwhile, the cleanup continued in an area west of Berne (see photos) where big winds caused damage late Tuesday night.
    The National Weather Service confirmed that at least 14 tornadoes and high winds ripped across Indiana on Tuesday night and early Wednesday, uprooting trees, knocking out power lines and damaging property.
    At least five touchdowns were confirmed in Ohio, including one which ripped away the roof of a grocery store and collapsed one of its walls in Celina, some 15 miles west of Bryant, Indiana.
    The tornado left behind a two-mile path of damage in the town, said Mike Robbins, deputy director of the Mercer County Emergency Management Agency. Sirens didn’t sound until after the storm hit because radar did not show any wind rotation, he said.
    Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Emily Norcross said no injuries were reported, but the state Department of Natural Resources was searching for a man missing after a kayaking trip in a creek that swelled as more than five inches of rain fell on parts of the state.
    The storms were part of a system that battered Illinois and Missouri earlier in the day.
    The National Weather Service says four tornadoes in southern Indiana’s Dubois County are among 14 that struck the state during the latest round of severe weather.               
    The weather service says the strongest of those storms, an EF-2 on the enhanced Fujita scale, had a wind speed up to 120 mph and carved a 3-mile path southwest of Jasper Tuesday night. Dubois County had three other weaker tornadoes.
    An EF-2 tornado struck near Thorntown about 25 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Two EF-1 tornadoes struck Grant County and one each near Lafayette and in Jay County.
    Two tornadoes, an EF-1 and a weaker EF-0, hit Clark County. Two EF-0 twisters hit Cass County in north central Indiana another hit southern Indiana’s Harrison County.
    No injuries from the tornadoes were reported.
    EF-0 tornadoes are the weakest on the enhanced Fujita scale, with wind gusts of 65 to 85 mph and causing minor damage. EF-1 tornadoes have wind gusts of 86 to 110 mph and cause moderate damage.
    The storm caused sporadic power outages for about 50,000 households across the state, and thousands were still in the dark as nightfall approached Wednesday.
    As utility crews worked to restore power, weather officials turned their attention to a new worry: flooding.

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