Severe Storms Hit the Plains and Midwest: 1 Person Dead in Hendricks County, Indiana

(SOURCE)  A multi-day severe weather outbreak continued Wednesday as thunderstorms lashed the Midwest, knocking out power for thousands and killing one person.

This fresh wave of severe weather comes a day after scattered storms hit the Midwest and dropped hail over the St. Louis metro area. Seven tornadoes have been confirmed by the National Weather Service from Tuesday’s severe weather; survey crews will examine the damage from Wednesday’s storms to determine how many tornadoes were spawned on Day 2.

Here’s the latest news from this round of severe weather:

  • A 75-year-old Hendricks County, Indiana, woman was killed after falling into a stream. She was clearing debris from a flooded ditch.
  • Five people were injured after a Tulsa school bus rolled off Highway 75 in Oklahoma. Weather and speeding appear to be factors.
  • A severe thunderstorm caused significant damage in Potosi, Missouri, between 3:30 and 4 p.m. CDT Wednesday afternoon. Some buildings lost roofs in the storm. There was a report of a possible tornado in the area, but there were no photos of the purported tornado.
  • Grapefruit-sized hail was reported around Sullivan, Missouri, around 2:30 p.m. CDT. There are reports of smashed car windshields and damage to homes. Hail up to the size of softballs struck Farmington, Missouri, around 4:45 p.m.
  • A tornado touched down in Comanche County, Kansas. Minutes later, the same storm spawned another tornado, which lasted 3 to 5 minutes, in rural Barber County, Kansas.
  • A University of Dayton student is in serious condition after being struck by lightning on campus.

Illinois

A second round of severe weather rolled through Illinois Wednesday, leaving damage in several towns.

Roofs were damaged and some tree limbs were down following a storm near Kincaid Wednesday morning, according to storm reports from the National Weather Service. Another wave of severe weather moved across the state Wednesday afternoon, and it was during those storms that the town of Foosland noticed many power lines were leaning over after being battered by the wind.

Hail as big as half-dollars was reported in Illinois several times Wednesday night. Highway 67 was flooded in Alton with 3 to 6 inches of water Wednesday night, according to storm reports.

Indiana 

Multiple rounds of severe weather came through the Hoosier State, and the storms are expected to continue on Thursday.

A 75-year-old Hendricks County woman was killed Wednesday night after falling into a flooded drainage ditch near her home, Fox 59 reported. Doris Martin was removing debris from her yard with her husband when she fell and was swept away by the strong current.

Martin was a well-known teacher whose death left scores of former students mourning in the town of Pittsboro.

“She taught for so many years here, she reached so many people, going back two, three generations,” Tom Collins, friend and neighbor to Martin, told Fox 59. “And so I think that’s the feeling you have, these people, she really touched them in such a way. Such an endearing person, so sweet. Kind to anyone that she met.”

In Rushville, Indiana, damaging winds took down power lines and trees Wednesday morning, said the NWS.

Rush County Emergency Management said half of Rushville had lost power by 10 a.m. local time Wednesday morning. As WTHR-TV reports, the city’s hospital and police departments were running on generator power during the outage.

Heavy rains flooded roads in Indianapolis and caused a handful of car crashes by mid-morning Wednesday, The Indianapolis Star reports.

An EF1 tornado touched down in Perry County Tuesday, snapping and uprooting several trees along Old Indiana 37, WTHR said. The tornado also destroyed a carport and caused additional tree damage.

Kansas 

Storm spotters reported brief tornado touchdowns near Garden Plain, Goddard and Andale. In other locations, strong winds were a problem; 80-mph gusts were reported in Havana and Sedan Wednesday afternoon.

Damage reports in the Sunflower State were mostly limited to downed trees, according to local storm reports. The storms moved into northeastern Kansas just before sunrise Wednesday morning, with heavy hail in tow.

baseball size hail KansasBaseball-sized hail was reported Wednesday evening near the town of Nashville.

Missouri 

Sleepy Hollow Mobile Home Park in Villa Ridge, Missouri, was inundated by floodwaters Wednesday night, according to storm reports. The fire department assisted residents who had dealt with flooding the previous night as well.

A saw mill in Potosi was destroyed by severe weather in the area, KFOR-TV said. On Interstate 70, a semi truck was blown over by strong winds, according to the NWS.

Strong winds also blew the roofs off cars at the Missouri Department of Transportation facility and other buildings in Washington County, the NWS also reported.

Hail is likely to be the costliest facet of Wednesday’s storms, as hailstones ranging from grapefruit-size to softball-size left cars and house windows damaged around Missouri. It was the second consecutive day of hail reports in the state; on Tuesday, hail as big as golf balls fell in the St. Louis area.

Hail in Farmington, Missouri on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. (twitter/@AnnMarie)

Clean up crews were shocked after the lower level of a strip mall was filled with several feet of hail in Manchester, Missouri, Tuesday, KSDK-TV reported.

“Honestly, I didn’t believe it was hail. I didn’t know what it was,” Kevin Thole, Servpro owner, told KSDK. “I had to come down and take a double take, take a couple of handfuls of it and see exactly what it was.”

Derek Smith, 14, from Bonne Terre, looks at the shattered rear window of his mom’s car that was busted out by hail slightly smaller than a tennis ball that fell from a storm in downtown Farmington, Mo., Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Numerous cars sustained broken windows from the hail. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson)

Ohio

A University of Dayton student is in serious condition after he was struck by lightning near the campus recreation complex Wednesday, WHIO-TV reports. Eyewitnesses recounted to authorities the man was covered with severe burns and in full cardiac arrest. Dayton Fire District Chief Joe Meyer confirmed to WHIO that the young man’s injuries are life-threatening.

Residents were evacuated after a large tree was downed on an apartment building in Washington Township Wednesday morning, WHIO-TV also reported. A barn was destroyed in Preble County during the storms and additional buildings were damaged in Butler and Greene counties.

At least one home was heavily damaged in Milford Township from a severe storm Wednesday afternoon. Part of the roof was ripped off the house, and other damage was also sustained. There were no reports of injuries in the storm.

As a line of storms rolled through the Buckeye State Wednesday morning, winds as high as 73 mph were reported by local storm spotters and relayed to the NWS. These gusty winds led to most of the damage reports submitted in southern Ohio.

Oklahoma

A tornado was briefly in progress outside Hammon, Oklahoma, Wednesday night in a rural area, according to storm reports. Another tornado was spotted earlier on the Kansas/Oklahoma state line.

Five people were injured when a Tulsa school bus rolled off of Highway 75 Wednesday afternoon, News9 reported. Four children and the bus driver were hurt, and authorities say weather and speed appeared to contribute to the incident.