BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY (WISH) — Crews are still cleaning up after Friday’s severe storms in Bartholomew County.
Bartholomew County Emergency Management told 24-Hour News 8 the damage is scattered throughout the eastern part of the county.
Dispatch received more than 700 calls in four hours Friday night. Many people reported seeing downed trees, power lines, and so much more.
The cleanup is getting underway in Bartholomew County, just one day after severe storms and as the state prepares for more bad weather.
“We’re probably talking about another day or two depending on anything we get tonight and if we get any more damage from any storms that we can get then,” said Shannan Hinton, director for Bartholomew County Emergency Management.
Crews spent Saturday trying to restore power to hundreds of residents as county workers surveyed the damaged.
“This is probably the most significant we had as far as tornado storm damage in a number of years here in Bartholomew County,” she said. “But yet not the worst I’ve seen here in the 15 years I’ve been doing this.”
Shannan Hinton is the director for the county’s emergency management. She doesn’t believe a tornado touched down in the county.
“What we’re seeing this morning and the conversation I had this morning with the National Weather Service, everything is in a straight line. We’re not seeing any twisting, we’re not seeing anything in opposite direction,” she explained. “It appears that we had a straight line winds versus an actual tornado.”
Hinton said there’s a strong possibility that a tornado was trying to form.
“It’s possible that it could have tried to form a funnel at some point. Some of the locations that we visited show very minor signs of that but nothing appears to made touchdown,” she said. “We can’t find any determined path through anything, so we don’t believe it was a tornado at this time.”
Hinton is just thankful that no one was injured as a result of the severe storms.
“We’re always thankful for that and everything else can be replaced we just can’t replace those things,” she said.
24-Hour News 8 talked with one homeowner, who did not want to be identified on camera, about the damage to her property. She lives on East Base Road in Columbus.
She said she was in the living room when she heard the hail and wind. She waited until everything calmed down before going outside to check. She said the tree was uprooted from the ground and crashed onto her garage and car. She said her dog was also trapped inside the barn. Deputies arrived on scene and rescued Simon. He was not injured.
“There were multiple trees on houses, power lines on houses, a lot of those lines were still live at the time. So, just thankfully nobody got hurt. Definitely could have been a much worse situation,”
Cody Melton said he has never seen anything like this before in the county.
“You know, it was just a real wild night. It started about 8:12 p.m. when the first call came out, and then after that, I think I made it home at about 2:00 a.m. in the morning,” said Melton.
Melton said firefighters from different agencies worked through the night trying to make sure everyone was safe.
“You really can’t prepare for something like this. It just kind of has to go and use your training and your knowledge and make the best of it,” he said.
The Director for Bartholomew County Emergency Management did address concerns about sirens not going off until after the tornado warning. Hinton said the 911 director is currently investigating and collecting all data and information to figure out what happened.