Washington County

 

Washington County Tornadoes


March 7, 1956
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F2
Deaths:
Injuries:  
Path width: 
Path length:
Time:  12:10am
Noted discrepancies:  SPC and NCDC list this as an F2...Grazulis does not list it.  SPC and Storm Data give a time of 12:10am, NCDC gives 12:06am.  SPC gives a path width of 10 yards, NCDC says 30 yards.  Storm Data says it struck one mile south of Salem and moved east.

April 3, 1956
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F2
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  12
Path width:  150 yards
Path length:  23 miles
Time:  5:45pm
Grazulis Narrative:  Moved northeast from seven miles southwest of Salem to near Little York.  A large bridge five miles southwest of Salem was moved.  Over a hundred buildings were damaged or destroyed.  A church and a school were struck at Canton.  A freezer was reportedly carried half a mile from the home site.  Newspapers called this a "barnado" because of the large number of barns destroyed.  One of the women injured in this tornado would be killed by another tornado on March 19, 1963.
Noted discrepancies:  SPC and NCDC list this as an F2, Grazulis says F3.  SPC gives a path length of 1/10 of a mile...NCDC gives nothing...Grazulis gives 15 miles...Storm Data gives 23 miles.  SPC gives a path width of 10 yards...NCDC gives nothing...Grazulis and Storm Data say 150 yards.  SPC and NCDC list only a touchdown point...no lift-off point is given.

April 20, 1958
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F1
Deaths: 
Injuries:
Path width: 
Path length: 
Time:  4:00pm
Noted discrepancies:  None.

March 16, 1963
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F2
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  0
Path width:  100 yards
Path length:  1 mile
Time:  5:20pm
Grazulis narrative:  Moved east-northeast from five miles southeast of Salem.  Farm buildings on one farm, and a house on another farm, were destroyed.
Noted discrepancies:  SPC and NCDC give this a path width of 800 yards, Grazulis and Storm Data give 100 yards.  Storm Data says this tornado hit four and a half miles southeast of Salem near IN 60 (present-day IN 160?) and the Middle Blue River.

March 19, 1963
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F1
Deaths:
Injuries:
Path width:
Path length:
Time:  3:00pm
Grazulis narrative:  Hit at Becks Mill.  Two women were killed when their shelter collapsed onto them.  The old fruit cellar behind the house may have been weakened by rain water and the sudden pressure change.  Their home had only broken windows.  One of the women had been injured in a tornado on April 3, 1956.
Noted discrepancies:  SPC gives a path length of 1/10 of a mile and a path width of 10 yards...NCDC gives nothing for either.

December 11, 1967
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F1
Deaths:
Injuries:
Path width:
Path length:
Time:  1:30pm
Noted discrepancies:  SPC gives a path width of 10 yards...NCDC 30 yards.

April 3, 1974
Counties:  Perry, Crawford, Harrison IN, Washington IN, Clark IN, Scott IN
F-scale:  F5
Deaths:
Injuries:
Path width:
Path length:
Time:  1:20pm
Grazulis narrative:  Moved east-northeast and northeast from three miles south of Huffman, passing southeast of Branchville, north of Sulphur Springs and Pilot Knob, south of Sulphur and Curby, across the southeast part of DePauw, hitting two miles east of Palmyra, passing through Martinsburg, crossing the southeast half of Daisy Hill, passing between Bunker Hill and New Liberty, and ending two miles north of IN 160.  This tornado immediately killed a woman as it destroyed her mobile home.  As the tornado passed along southeast of Branchville it killed again.  Two people, riding in a school bus, saw the tornado and took shelter in a nearby ditch.  The bus was thrown fifty feet into the ditch, crushing the couple and killing the woman.  Moving across Crawford County, the tornado widened to over a mile, missing many small communities and levelling several farms.  In Harrison County the tornado killed a woman in her mobile home in southeast Depauw.  Another woman was killed in her home two miles east of Palmyra.  In the southeastern corner of Washington County the tornado struck the town of Martinsburg, destroying 38 of the town's 48 homes.  Homes in the Daisy Hill area were completely swept away.
Noted discrepancies:  SPC and Grazulis list 6 deaths for this tornado, NCDC lists 5.  SPC lists 86 injuries, NCDC 53, Grazulis 76, Storm Data 95.  SPC lists a path length of 68 miles, NCDC 50 miles, Grazulis 62 miles, Storm Data 67 miles.  SPC gives a path width of 10 yards (obviously incorrect), NCDC 30 yards (obviously incorrect), Grazulis 1760 yards, Storm Data 700 yards.  This tornado is split into two tornadoes at SPC.  Grazulis lists an incorrect ending point for the tornado.  Storm Data begins this tornado between Huffman and Tarry in Perry County and lifts it a few miles northeast of Lexington in Scott County.  SPC lat/lon ends the tornado southwest of Lexington, rather than northeast.  It's been mapped here according to the information in Storm Data, but additional research would be helpful.

The Louisville Courier-Journal mentions two tornadoes in Washington County on June 7, 1980.  One in the Livonia, Smedley, and Salem areas, and the other in the Fredericksburg/Martinsburg area.  This project has been unable to find any corroboration of this at Storm Data, NCDC, SPC, or Grazulis (though, in the interest of full disclosure, the entry for Indiana in this month's Storm Data simply says, "No Data Received").  Also, the tornado in the Fredericksburg/Martinsburg area may be the tornado listed next in Storm Data, which is officially placed just across the border in far northern Harrison County.  The only specific damage mentioned by the Courier-Journal from either of these potential tornadoes is a mobile home losing its roof at Smedley.  At this time will not plot any tornadoes in Washington County.

April 5, 1985
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F2
Deaths:
Injuries:
Path width:
Path length:
Time:  3:28pm
Noted discrepancies:  NWS ranks this as an F2, Grazulis does not list it.

March 10, 1986
Counties:  Washington IN, Scott IN
F-scale:  F2
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  0
Path width:  200 yards
Path length:  1 mile
Time:  2:10pm
Grazulis narrative:  Moved northeast from one mile southwest of Little York to Austin.  Fifteen trailers were demolished, 75 homes and many barns were either heavily damaged or destroyed.  People were injured by flying debris.
Noted discrepancies:  None

June 2, 1990
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F0
Deaths:
Injuries:
Path width:
Path length:
Time:  8:17pm
Noted discrepancies:  None

June 2, 1990
Counties:  Washington IN, (Jackson), Scott IN, Jefferson IN
F-scale:  F3
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  0
Path width:  150 yards
Path length:
Time:  8:25pm
Grazulis narrative:  Moved east-northeast through rural areas from one mile south of Milport passing two miles east of Crothersville and two miles southeast of Paris Crossing, ending one mile northeast of Lancaster.  One home was destroyed and 15 were damaged.
Noted discrepancies:  SPC has a path length of 41 miles, NCDC has 31 miles, Grazulis says 29 miles.  Using NCDC's lat/lons this comes out rather strange.  May need to re-visit this with SPC's lat/lons.

June 2, 1990
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F2
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  2
Path width:  150 yards
Path length:  5 miles
Time:  9:03pm
Grazulis narrative:  Moved east from 1 1/2 miles southeast of Salem, passing south of Harristown, and ending one mile northwest of South Boston.  Seven trailers and a barn were destroyed, 15 trailers and several frame homes were damaged.
Noted discrepancies:  Grazulis lists this at 10:03pm.

May 27, 1995
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F0
Deaths:
Injuries:
Path width:
Path length:
Time:  9:00pm
Notes:  Storm Data puts this tornado at Campbellsburg.

January 3, 2000
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F1
Deaths:
Injuries:
Path width:
Path length:
Time:  1:05pm
Noted discrepancies:  Storm Data puts this tornado two and a half miles north of Freddricksburg.

April 20, 2000
Counties:  Washington KY
F-scale:  F1
Deaths:
Injuries:
Path width:
Path length:
Time:  4:55pm
Noted discrepancies:  SPC lists a path width of 70 yards, NCDC 73 yards, Storm Data 50 yards.
Notes:  Storm Data takes this tornado from half a mile north of Willisburg to two miles northeast of Willisburg.

May 27, 2004
Counties:  Washington IN, Clark IN
F-scale:  F2
Deaths:
Injuries:
Path width:
Path length:
Time:  6:30pm
Notes:  Storm Data takes this tornado from 6.3 miles south southwest of Salem, to Pekin, to 1.3 miles southeast of Pekin, to 2.7 miles northwest of Charlestown, to 3.1 miles southeast of Charlestown. Stacy Road and Bethany Road in the Charlestown area received damage.

May 30, 2004
Counties:  Washington IN
F-scale:  F1
Deaths:
Injuries:
Path width:
Path length:
Time:  3:10pm
Notes:  Storm Data takes this tornado from 3.8 miles southwest of Salem to 7.2 miles east of Salem.  It touched down near IN 56, crossed Beck's Mill Road, and crossed Walker Road.

January 29, 2008
Counties:  Washington, IN
EF-scale: 
EF1
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  0
Path width:  200 yards
Path length:  10.7 miles
Time:  7:40pm EST to 7:50pm EST
Notes: 
The most intense damage occurred near the intersection of Skylight and Cauble roads, where several hardwood trees were snapped off, numerous trees were uprooted in different directions, a farm outbuilding collapsed, and metal sheeting from a well-constructed barn was thrown 200 yards into the trees downwind.

April 19, 2011
Counties:  Washington IN
EF-Scale:  EF-1
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  0
Path width:  200 yards
Path length:  1.4 miles
Time:  11:59pm EDT
Notes:  The track began near the intersection of South John Batt Road and West Batts Road.  Along the path a grain bin was destroyed and several trees were felled.  It threw a 10,000 pound large grain silo leg.  At that same location two other silos were destroyed as well as a 20 foot by 30 foot ourbuilding.  A ranch style home suffered significant damage.  Near the end of the track a house's roof was partially torn off a gravel from the driveway was lifted and pelted into the side of the house.  The tornado lifted just northeast of the intersection of West Mount Tabor Road and Southwest Washington School Road.

April 20, 2011
Counties:  Washington IN
EF-Scale:  EF-1
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  0
Path width:  75 yards
Path length:  0.7 mile
Time:  12:00am EDT
Notes:  This tornado touched down just downwind of the previous event, on the property of West Washington High School.  Along the path two barns and a silo were damaged.  Several trees were knocked down or snapped.  The tornado lifted at the intersection of West Mount Tabor Road and Smedley Road.

April 20, 2011
Counties:  Washington IN
EF-Scale:  EF-0
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  0
Path Width:  50 yards
Path length:  0.6 mile
Time:12:07am EDT
Notes:  The tornado touched down along Jim Day Road about a quarter mile south of Lewellen Road where a 30 foot by 40 foot outbuilding was destroyed and its roof thrown about 75 yards to the north and east.  At the end of the path a house suffered roof damage, a 30 foot by 50 foot shed was destroyed, and a small grain bin was twisted and thrown 100 feet.

April 20, 2011
Counties:  Washington IN, Scott IN
EF-Scale:  EF-0
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  0
Path width:200 yards
Path length:  13 miles (skipping)
Time:  12:14am EDT
Notes:  Though this tornado was weak it had a fairly long path from four miles south southwest of Little York to five miles north northeast of Austin.  Several trees were snapped or uprooted and a roof was damaged near Rutherford Hollow Road.  The rest of the damage along the path was restricted to trees.

May 25, 2011
Counties:  Orange, (Lawrence), Washington IN
EF-Scale:  EF-1
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  0
Path width:  150 yards
Path length:  3.2 miles
Time:  10:28pm EDT
Notes:  After touching down and destroying a large wood barn the tornado moved to the northeast over farmland, snapping and uprooting numerous trees.  It continued through the extreme southeast corner of Lawrence County and entered Washington County before dissipating at Spangler Hill Road.

May 25, 2011
Counties:  Washington IN
EF-Scale:  EF-1
Deaths:  0
Injuries:  0
Path width:  130 yards
Path length:  2.8 miles
Time:  10:31pm EDT
Notes:  This tornado snapped and uprooted numerous trees along its path and heavily damaged a metal outbuilding on North Spangler Hill Road before dissipating near the intersection of North Spangler Hill Road and North White River Road.

March 2, 2012
Counties:  Washington IN, Clark IN, Scott IN, Jefferson IN, Trimble
EF-Scale:  EF-4
Deaths:  11
Injuries:
Path width:  700 yards
Path length:  49 miles
Time:  2:50pm EST
Notes:  Washington County
The National Weather Service in conjunction with Washington County Emergency Management conducted a detailed tornado damage survey on Saturday, March 3. Below are the results.

The tornado first touched down on the south side of Fredericksburg just south of U.S. 150 where several trees were snapped off. In this area, winds were estimated to be 90 mph (EF1) with a damage width of 30 yards along the south fork of the Blue Lick River.

Additional tree damage was observed as the tornado moved east- northeast across farmland. Near the intersection of Horners Chapel Road and Fredericksburg Road, a high tension metal power structure was toppled along with numerous trees uprooted and snapped. Here, damage was estimated as EF2 with 130 mph winds. Along Palmyra Road near Strickland Road, several trees were snapped with EF1 damage 50-100 yards wide and estimated winds of 100-110 mph. High tension wires were down and trees snapped along West End Road just north of Shanks Hill Road.

The tornado then traveled over a ridge and intensified as it hit State Route 135 at Dutch Creek Road. Here, large chunks of 5- or 6-inch thick asphalt from an approximately 4-by-4-yard  section of roadway were blown 10 to 30 yards into the adjacent  grass next to the road. Just east of Route 135, tremendous tree  damage was observed. At this location, the tornado was estimated to be of EF3 strength with 150 mph winds. The width of the damage  path also began to widen, increasing to 200 yards.

Tree and structural damage was widespread northeast of Route 135 as the tornado crossed Trainer Lane and then State Road 335 to Robbs Lane. The width of observable damage increased to one-quarter to one-third of a mile. Countless trees were snapped and uprooted. The degree of damage suggested a mix of EF2 and EF3 damage in this area, with estimated winds of 120-150 mph.

The tornado crossed U.S. 60 just south of New Pekin. Immediately east of the highway, tremendous structural damage was observed. A well-constructed and large factory building (Airgo Industries) was cleared to its foundation slab with numerous anchoring bolts bent in the direction of the storm. Debris from this building was observed one-half to three-quarters of a mile downwind. Large power poles were snapped. Another metal out building on the right periphery of the damage path had sheeting pulled off the back of the building apparently from the force of the inbound winds into the tornado. This was the area where 5 people were tragically killed in a mobile home. In this location just east of U.S. 60, damage suggested an EF4 tornado with 170 mph estimated winds, and a width of observed damage from 0.3-0.4 mile.

Damage continued to the east along and south of Hurst Road in extreme southeast Washington County. The tornado crossed into extreme northwest Clark County along and near Daisy Hill Road. In this area, a well-constructed one-story brick house at the top of a small ridge was completely destroyed with no walls standing. People onsite reported that cows were missing and could not be located. They also stated that the tornado looked like a black wall as it approached. A heavy trailer cab was blown from this house to another demolished brick home about one-quarter mile away. Damage here suggested EF4 damage with 170 mph winds.

As the tornado re-entered Washington County near the intersection of Daisy Hill Road and Williams Knob Road, widespread damage occurred. This included a home which was totally leveled as well as a couple of anchored down double wide trailers. A car was destroyed and tossed about 100 yards in the direction of storm motion from its origin at the home. At one of the destroyed trailers, a Dodge Ram pickup truck was tossed onto its side and destroyed in the opposite direction from the car (i.e., on the left side of the tornado track). Here, EF3-EF4 damage was estimated with winds of 150-170 mph. There were also snapped trees and structural damage along Whiskey Run Road. The width of the observed damage straddling the Washington-Clark County line was estimated to be one-third to one-half mile wide, although the width of the most concentrated damage was narrower. The last observed damage in Washington County was near S. Flatwood Road in a wooded area before the tornado entered Clark County.

Across Washington County, particularly east of IN 135, thousands of trees were uprooted and snapped.

Clark County and Scott CountyThe National Weather Service in conjunction with Clark County Emergency Management conducted an exhaustive tornado damage survey on Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4. Below are the results. The tornado continued east-northeast in far northwest Clark County on Dan Gray Road where the twister leveled many well-built homes and caused extensive tree damage. The tornado here was rated EF4 with estimated wind speeds of 170 mph and a damage width of one-third mile.

The tornado moved into far southeast Washington County before reappearing in Clark County. In Clark, the damage width narrowed to one-quarter mile as the tornado crossed Pixley Knob Road and decreased in intensity to EF2 with wind speeds of 115-120 mph.

Farther east, the tornado intensified again as it destroyed two double wide homes on Speith Road. One family residence on the west side of the road was severely damaged, reflecting EF3 damage with 150 mph winds.

The tornado crossed Interstate 65, damaging several vehicles and semis and closing the interstate for several hours. Several people were trapped in these vehicles, but were later rescued.

The tornado continued to strengthen just east of Exit 19 of Interstate 65 in a heavily industrialized area. Here, buildings containing several businesses were severely damaged. A home was destroyed on the east side of North Fraucke Road. The violent tornado also seriously damaged several homes on the north side of State Highway 160. Here, there was evidence of multi-vortex structure with EF4 damage and 175 mph estimated winds.

The tornado then struck the south buildings of the Henryville middle and high school complex, with severe damage and 170 mph winds (EF4). The middle school experienced the worst damage. The cafeteria was completely destroyed. Two school buses were ripped off their chassis.

There was also extensive structural damage on the east side of Henryville on North Front Street and Pennsylvania Street. A high tension tower and other homes were damaged on Pine Drive. Incredible tree damage also occurred just west of Pine Drive as the tornado traveled up a ridge. In this region, the tornado was an EF3 with 150 mph winds.

On Brownstown Road, many homes were severely damaged especially on the north side of the tornado track with estimated speeds of 150 mph (EF3). Farther east, there was massive deforestation on the east side of a ridge just west of and along Henryville Otisco Road. Several more homes were severely damaged along this road. One of these homes reflected EF4 damage and 170 mph winds.

The tornado rapidly narrowed to a rope-like structure and ended as an EF1 with 90-95 mph winds and an 80 yard wide path. This occurred near the intersection of Blackberry Trail and State Highway 3.

Simultaneously, a new cyclic tornado vortex rapidly formed from the same supercell near Mahan Road and Old State Road 3 immediately southwest of the first tornado. The second tornado began as an EF1 and damaged a church and a few trees. The vortex quickly intensified to EF3 strength as it crossed the south portion of the town of Marysville, severely damaging several homes.

East of Marysville, another cyclic vortex from the parent storm formed just southwest of the intersection of Nabb New Washington Road and Nabb Marysville Road. This vortex intensified and merged with the primary circulation. The tornado severely damaged or destroyed several houses and double wide mobile homes around the intersection of Nabb New Washington and Nabb Marysville. Debris from the double wides was tossed around a mile downwind. The tornado was rated EF3 here with 150 mph winds and a damage width of one-third mile.

A Civil Air Patrol flight on Sunday, March 4 revealed extensive ground scouring in farmers` fields east of Marysville all the way to the Jefferson-Scott County line. This scouring was evidence of a multi-vortex tornado, which was confirmed by multiple videos and photographs.

The tornado continued north of Barnes Road, damaging several clusters of trees in open country. The tornado intensified east of the intersection of Kettle Bottom and State Highway 362.

In Scott County, immediately north of Highway 362 and east of Concord Road, three homes were severely damaged while five double wide mobile homes were completely destroyed. Here, the tornado was an EF4 with 170 mph winds. Just south of 362 in Clark County, two additional homes and power poles were damaged greatly. From there, the tornado crossed into Jefferson County, Indiana.

Jefferson County:  The National Weather Service in conjunction with Jefferson County, IN Emergency Management conducted the tornado damage survey in Jefferson County. The tornado traveled from Clark County, Indiana across extreme southeast Scott County and into far southern Jefferson County. Damage was observed along and just north of State Highway 362 near the 3-county line. This included several mobile homes totally destroyed, several framed houses heavily damaged, tremendous tree damage, and power poles snapped and shredded. The observed damage width was one-third of a mile with estimated winds of 170 mph (EF4).

The tornado traveled east-northeast snapping trees and power poles on County Road 850, and did its most significant damage at the intersection of Jackson Road, State Highway 62, and Swan Road about 2 miles south of the town of Chelsea.

In this area, several well-built brick homes were destroyed. The homes had anchor bolts attached to steel plates and a concrete foundation. One house was lifted and slid 65 yards off its foundation while mostly still intact. Another home was completely demolished and thrown downwind several hundred yards, within which there were 3 fatalities. The garage of this house was destroyed with one vehicle thrown 30 yards and another tossed 75 yards. A piece of farm equipment was thrown 200 yards as well. A third well-built brick home had its roof completely lifted and thrown over 300 yards downwind. Also, an above ground pool half filled with water was missing. Wind speeds in the area were estimated at 170-175 mph (EF4) with a damage width of one-quarter mile.

The tornado tracked to the north of Paynesville and south of Lee Bottom, extensively damaging forests in southern Jefferson County before crossing the Ohio River into Trimble County, Kentucky. The damage width narrowed in this area to only a couple hundred yards.

Trimble County:  The National Weather Service in conjunction with Trimble County Emergency Management conducted an extensive tornado survey in Trimble County.  The tornado crossed the Ohio River from Jefferson County, Indiana and narrowed to about 200 yards wide.  The tornado damaged a home on Rodgers Road, overturned two barns, and uprooted and/or twisted several trees.  This was consistent with EF1 damage and 105-110mph estimated winds.

At the same time a second vortex formed immediately adjacent to the first vortex and totally destroyed a barn on Rodgers Road and extensively damaged another.  This tornado also damaged a lot of rugged forested area before intersecting with the path of the first vortex near the confluence of Highway 1838 (Corn Creek Road, Highway 625, and Joyce Mill Road.  In this area the tornado was rated as an EF2 with 115 mph estimated winds.

Three single-wide mobile homes near the intersection of Joyce Mill Road and Highway 625 were destroyed along with tree damage and downed power lines and poles.  This was consistent with EF1 damage, 105 mph estimated winds, and a damage width of 75 yards.

No evidence of further damage was observed until Rawlett Lane, where some trees were snapped and uprooted.  There could have been damage in-between although the survey team was unable to access this area.  The tornado then struck two homes and a single-wide mobile home on New Hope Ridge Road (Highway 2870) about 1.5 miles west of Highway 421.  Here EF1 damage, 90 mph winds, and a path width of 50 yards were estimated.  The tornado lifted near this location.


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