County dodges worst of this week's storm

Saturday, May 28, 2011

National Weather Service assessment of the damage from Wednesday night's storms is ongoing, but Putnam County avoided the worst the system had to offer.

County EMA Severe Weather Specialist Chris Edwards said several areas of rotation were spotted in and around the county, but no confirmed touchdowns.

"Putnam County threaded the needle this time, but that won't always be the case," Edwards said.

Of the 13 confirmed tornadoes in the state on Wednesday, the closest struck Parke County. The F1 touched down south of U.S. 36, five miles east-southeast of Rockville and two miles southwest of Bellmore.

The same cell may have produced an F0 in the area of county roads 350 West and 1350 North in Putnam County. Edwards expected the NWS to make its final assessment of the area late Friday or Saturday.

Regardless of the cause, several locations in the northwest and north central portions of the county reported significant damage to structures and trees.

At U.S. 36 and County Road 880 West, winds tore siding from a house and destroyed the porch and barn. A log cabin on the south side of the road was picked up and thrown about 500 feet to the northeast.

Along State Road 236 between U.S. 231 and Roachdale, six homes sustained significant roof damage. Farther west, power poles were snapped at their base near Russellville.

An area of rotation was also spotted south of Cataract Lake in Owen County that crossed into Putnam County near U.S. 231. While the cell showed no evidence of being a tornado, wind and hail caused tree and shingle damage east of Cloverdale.

Edwards said county residents should count themselves lucky to have dodged the worst of the storm.

"It won't hold out forever -- eventually we'll get clocked," he said.

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