Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Tornado Chronicles: Henryville, IN and Milton, KY Area Tornadoes of 3-2-12...

Another significant tornado event on Friday, March 2nd, 2012 took place in New Pekin and Henryville, IN (which is about 25 miles North of Louisville, KY).

The photos below were taken by residents of Borden, IN, which is about 10 miles West/Southwest of Henryville:

Following are some of the vides of the tornado that have emerged on YouTube over the past couple of days:

"Young ear" alert toward the end of the above video (curse word)

If you look closely on the following video, you'll occasionally see smaller funnels (almost horizontally) appear near the upper right portion of the main tornado.  Those are called "multiple vorticies" or "horizontal vorticies", another sign of a well organized, intense tornado:

The following video is the same "Henryville" tornado, but further West near New Pekin.  Once again, you can see multiple vorticies, this time near the base of the main tornado circulation:

The National Weather Service (NWS) storm survey has rated this tornado EF-4 intensity.  The tornado's path length was 49 miles and began at 2:50pm EST on the South side of Fredericksburg in Washington County (Indiana).  The tornado lifted at approximately 4 miles North/Northwest of Bedford in Trimble County (Kentucky).  The maximum width along the damage path was 0.4 miles.  The path is indicated by the NWS survey track map below:

This image zooms-in on that portion of the track across the Henryville area:

The following damage photos further illustrate the intensity of the tornado(es) that struck the area on that afternoon.  This first set shows damage in and around the public school complex (elementary, middle and high school) in Henryville:

The school had decided to release students early Friday due to the expected severe weather.  Only 80 children were in the school buildings at the time the tornado hit, and all escaped without serious injury.  The school bus that you saw in the 1st photo was empty when it was thrown into the building you see.

Additional photos show extensive damage to frame residences and businesses across the region.  Exact location noted (when available) beneath the photo:

College Street

East Side of U.S. 31

High School

One of the many sobering stories that came out of this event was that of 2 year old Angel Babcock.  Angel was found alive, but critically injured, in the middle of a field near Salem Indiana.  Her mother, father, baby sister and older brother were all killed.  I've heard in the last few moments that she passed away a short time ago (approximately 4pm CST Sunday, 3/4/12).  I am deeply saddened to hear this, but find comfort in the fact that she is no longer suffering on this earth and has gone home to be with the rest of her family.

As of this writing, 12 people have reportedly lost their lives in Indiana as a result of Friday's tornadoes.  I don't believe that Angel is included in that figure at this time.

The tornado (or tornadoes) that caused extensive damage and destruction in New Pekin and Henryville moved on to the East/Northeast, striking the Marysville and Chelsea areas.

Aerial view of Marysville, IN (just NE of Henryville)

Milton, KY Area Tornado of 3-2-12:
A separate tornado formed just to the East/Northeast of the end of the Henryville tornado track.  This tornado touched down about 5 miles southeast of Milton, KY and continued for about 3.4 miles before lifting just to the East of Monitor along the Trimble/Carroll County lines:

This tornado, dubbed the "Milton Tornado" was rated EF-3 intensity and had a maximum path width of 75 yards.  It is estimated that this tornado touched down at 3:41pm EST, and lifted at approximately 3:48 pm EST.

This tornado struck the Milton Volunteer Fire Station Number 2 directly:

If you're interested in these tornado events, please bookmark the post and check back for updates.

This tornado was just one of many associated with the outbreak that took place across the Midwest, Ohio and Tennessee Valley region on Friday, March 2, 2012.  Please see this post for a "Table of Contents" index listing of the other Tornado Chronicles posts associated with the outbreak. 

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