Salem, Ind. (WISH) – A Friday night tornado in Washington County damaged homes in rural areas and two businesses in the Salem Public Square, the National Weather Service in Louisville, Ky., said after concluding his investigation Sunday.
No one was injured in the 8-minute tornado that struck at 8:06 p.m. Friday and lasted eight minutes. The tornado traveled 5.5 miles, lifting downtown Salem, the investigation report said. The city of Salem is approximately 60 miles south of Indianapolis.
The tornado touched down near West Wilson Lane and Dog Trot Road, just south of State Route 56, halfway between Salem and the town of Livonia. In this vicinity, a barn, two outbuildings and a carport were damaged. Some of the debris from the buildings was found on a farm half a mile to the east.
The worst damage occurred near the intersection of Mill Creek Road and Fort Hill Road. A brick house sustained damage to the roof and porch columns, and a dozen trees were uprooted or snapped. In this area, the tornado had a maximum width of 200 meters and winds of up to 105 mph.
From this intersection, the tornado moved through farmland until it reached two homes along Woodland Drive in the Naugle Addition, where two large leafy trees were uprooted.
In Salem, the EF-1 tornado uprooted a large tree at Crown Hill Cemetery and damaged two businesses northwest of the Washington County Courthouse. The investigation team noted that the tornado missed the 135-year-old courthouse by 200 feet.
At each of the locations where the tornado struck, people had heard of the tornado warning from emergency alerts, television news reports, or weather radios. Most went to basements to wait out the storm, while one family without a basement took refuge in an indoor bathroom. A resident without a basement went to a neighbor who had a basement.
The Washington County Emergency Management Agency did not respond to an email sent Friday evening to learn of the damage.
The tornado was Indiana’s second in 2022. On March 6, an EF-0 tornado with winds up to 70 mph hit a rural portion of Cass County in northern Indiana.
The Weather Service shared four photos of the damage in Washington County.