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How Noble County spent the first day of Summer:

Summer came in like a lion this year, bringing a storm on its first day that damaged a church and homes in Noble County and left thousands without power. No injuries were reported, although there were some close calls.

The steeple of the LaOtto Wesleyan Church was toppled by high winds Wednesday, which also brought a tree down on occupied homes at Bear Lake, on the other end of the county. The most serious damage was in southern Noble County, although power outages were scattered across the area and tens of thousands were reportedly without electricity throughout Indiana.

There were unconfirmed funnel cloud sightings in Allen and Dekalb counties, and reports of tornado touchdowns in Mercer County, Ohio, and Illinois.

After the National Weather Service placed northern Indiana under a tornado watch Wednesday, a series of thunderstorms came through the area. A thunderstorm warning was issued at about 6:30 p.m., but the only problem reported from that round was a utility pole struck by lightning in Green Township. However, starting about two hours later a much more powerful storm brought lightning, hail, high winds and heavy rain, generating another thunderstorm warning. Several local fire departments went out on weather watch at that time.
Pea sized hail, high winds and heavy rain near Rome City were the first weather reports received by the Noble County Sheriff’s Department, at 8:36 p.m.

At 8:53 p.m. a Noble Township firefighter reported a tree had fallen on his home, along First Street at Bear Lake. Three people were in the house at the time, and reportedly barely escaped injury when the downed tree caused heavy damage to the building.

It was the first of a string of reports of damage in the Bear Lake area, so many that Thorn Creek fire units were called in from Whitley County to assist Noble Township firefighters in answering calls. The American Red Cross and Noble County EMS also responded to assist.

Another home was damaged by a fallen tree on Sixth Street. Rescue workers checked it at 9:23 p.m., but the occupants reported found shelter in another home and were being assisted by the Red Cross.

A utility pole caught fire along Fifth Street at Bear Lake, bringing firefighters and Noble REMC linemen to the scene. Utility workers were kept busy with downed lines across the region, and the storm knocked out REMC substations at Brimfield, LaOtto, and Summit Lake. At one point over 30,000 REMC customers statewide were reportedly without power, around 1,700 of them in Noble County. Local power supplies were reportedly back up by 6 a.m., but some areas of Allen County reportedly didn’t have electricity back until late Friday.

Noble County and State Highway workers were also called out to clear trees and open roadways back up. In addition, INDOT workers had to set up stop signs where power outages had darkened stop lights, including the east junction of US 6 and SR 9, and SR 3 at both SR8 and SR 205.

As the storm continued to move east, it hit the LaOtto area hard. The worst damage was at the LaOtto Wesleyan Church, were the steeple landed on the ground beside the building. LaOtto firefighters responded to several reports of trees, large limbs, and power lines down, and stayed out until early Thursday, while the entire town remained blacked out.

Some other reports of trees across roadways were from Avilla’s Chiswell Run; CR 1200N, near South Milford; the 300E block of CR 400E in Green Township; 1000W near Wilmot; the Kosciusko County line near CR 125S; SR 8 near CR 750E.

The storm systems generated watches and warning across the Midwest. Other Indiana counties that reported damage include Adams, Allen, Blackford, Grant, Huntington, Jay, Wabash, and Wells. Part of the roof of Grant County’s courthouse was blown off.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2006 07:27 am (UTC)

yep, I know it's hardly the most in depth comment but it reflects my feelings on the subject.
Jun. 23rd, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
sometimes simpler is better
Actually, I think that covers it pretty well.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 23rd, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
Actually, the neighborhood association took a vote, and I can't go out in shorts (or shirtless) anymore. It appears I need knee work.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 23rd, 2006 11:33 pm (UTC)
Well, you shouldn't be! Another case of censoring skin!

Although, in this case, they have a point.
Jun. 23rd, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
"Exciting" isn't always a good thing! Amazing no one was hurt.
Jun. 23rd, 2006 10:05 pm (UTC)
It seems like, in my world at least, exciting is *never* a good thing. :-(
Jun. 23rd, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
It was too windy for our ferry to sail the day before yesterday - but nothing in your class! Glad the firefighter with the semi-flattened home wasn't you.
Jun. 23rd, 2006 10:07 pm (UTC)
heh. If you saw the size of the tree right outside my bedroom window ... :-0
Jun. 24th, 2006 03:03 am (UTC)
Oh man, that sounds really intense and definitely not the best start to the summer.
Jun. 24th, 2006 05:43 am (UTC)
Reminds me of the old curse, may you live in interesting times ...
Jun. 29th, 2006 05:41 am (UTC)
In the book on Extreme Weather there is a picture of a steeple type tower being blown off of a university campus here in Oregon. It was our one storm of real note. Cool pic.

Your job must be interesting but I think I prefer observing this kind of weather from a book!
Jun. 29th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC)
weather from a book
I do believe I agree with you! Ah, who am I kidding -- I'm still one of those idiots who would run outside when the tornado siren goes off, instead of heading for the basement.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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