Clinton Co. town recovers after Saturday evening tornado

(Provided Photo/WLFI)

CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Forest residents are cleaning up after an EF1 tornado touched down in Clinton County Saturday evening.

“I’ve been out here 38 years,” said Forest Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike Tate. “I’ve seen a lot of stuff, but nothing like this before.”

Terry Laughner and his wife saw it happen.

“All the sudden, we hear this weird whooshing noise, and the wind started picking up.”

According to the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, the EF1 tornado was about 90 feet wide and was on the ground for about one-tenth of a mile.

Wind speeds reached as high as 95 miles per hour.

“I told her it’s time for us to get in the house,” said Laughner. “So, we high-tailed it around there and got up in the house. I turned around and looked out the door, and stuff went flying across the lot back there behind this house over here.”

Andrew Reed lives right down the street.

“I was watching TV and dosing off,” Reed said. “So I really wasn’t aware of what was going on until I heard a loud thud.”

That’s when he knew something serious was going on.

“I looked out the window, and I saw debris flying all over the place,” Reed added. “So, immediately I jumped up and started running around the house closing up windows.”

Luckily the damage was minimal for Reid’s home, but the volunteer fire department next door wasn’t so fortunate.

Tate and other volunteer firefighters weren’t at the station when the storm rolled through.

“We heard that the station got hit, and we turned the sirens on and come back into town,” Tate said. “I’m like, ‘Oh my God’. You know? I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Although the station took the brunt of the storm, he’s still in good spirits.

“You can rebuild stuff,” added Tate. “Just nobody got hurt, thank God.”

In the meantime, Tate said operations will be moved to a building outside of town.

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