November 19, 2013

Assessing the damage: Officials confirm 2 tornadoes in Cass Co.

Officials confirm 2 tornadoes in Cass Co.

By Amie Sites

LOGANSPORT — National Weather Service officials confirmed it was a tornado that hit Logansport Sunday. In fact, two tornadoes touched down in Cass County.

One traveled from Young America to Lincoln and then near Grissom Air Reserve Base in Miami County, said Cass County Emergency Management Agency Director Alvin Beckman. A second twister traveled from the south side of Logansport toward Adamsboro, Beckman reported.

Beckman spent several hours Monday afternoon surveying damage with NWS personnel. They determined that isolated wind bursts associated with the tornadoes were the cause of damage elsewhere in the county.

Several people in the county were still without power Monday. At 6 p.m., there were 812 Duke Energy customers without power in Cass County.

In Logansport, there were 7,000 Logansport Municipal Utilities customers without power after the storms Sunday. After LMU personnel worked through the night, less than 200 were without power as of Monday morning. LMU services about 13,500 people, said superintendent Paul Hartman.

Surrounding counties were also affected by the power outages.

Carroll White REMC reported 900 members without electric service as of 4:45 p.m. Monday. Several hundred members are still without service between Flora and Burlington due to several downed utility poles. There are also several members without power from Deer Creek along Ind. 29 to Galveston, according to Carroll White REMC.

According to Duke Energy's website, there were 471 people without power in Carroll County at 6 p.m. Monday.

Most utility poles and power lines in Logansport were back up and repaired late Monday morning. In Cass County, there were several utility poles down along U.S. 35, Beckman said.

“Essentially we’re getting everyone back in power and then we will focus on repairs,” Hartman said. “Clean up could take up to one week.”

The power outages caused Southeastern School Corp. to close Monday. At Logansport Community Schools, students operated on a two-hour delay Monday.

As officials were able to examine structures on Monday, the full magnitude of damage came into view. At least three homes had significant damage and could be considered destroyed, Beckman said. Many other homes were found to have minor damage.

Among the homes damaged was that of Lisa Loposser and her husband, John. The couple were watching a football game in their basement when the storms hit. Lisa said they went upstairs and could hear the storm.

"Usually my husband goes to watch a storm, but he told me to go back to the basement so I knew it must be bad," she said. "We could hear the wind, rain and eventually a tree snap and hit the house."

After the storm passed, she said they found several trees fell in their yard including a large pine tree that was leaning against the roof. Another large pine tree fell near the house, located on Marcy Lane in Logansport.

"Everyone in our neighborhood has one tree down, if not more," she said. "We had five or six trees that were either snapped or uprooted."

As of 11 a.m. Monday, the tree against the house was removed and they had people assessing the damage done.

“It could have been worse,” she said.

Businesses in town with damage included A Raymond Tinnerman, Cato, Home Depot, The Andersons Inc. and ExpressMed. The high winds peeled back the roof of the McHale Performing Arts Center.

Greg Korreckt, business manager/controller for Logansport schools, said the damage was relatively small and was contained to highest roof section. A crane was brought on site to remove debris. There was a little water inside the building, but a crew cleaned it up, Korreckt said.

Also on the Logansport High School campus a light standard at the center field of the baseball field fell over, but nothing hit the school buildings, Korreckt said.

ExpressMed and the office of Dr. Dallis Bowditch will reopen today with the completion of storm damage repairs, said Vicki Byrd, vice president of planning and development with Logansport Memorial Hospital.

In the aftermath of the storm, structural damage can be reported to the Cass County Emergency Management Agency at 574-722-2484. If people need to make timely repairs, Beckman asked they take pictures to verify damage and make contact with their insurance company.

Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or Follow her: @PharosAES.