March 31, 2020

Indiana Tornado Cleanup Continues With Eye On Virus Safety

Storm damage in Newburgh, Indiana. - National Weather Service

Storm damage in Newburgh, Indiana.

National Weather Service

NEWBURGH, Ind. (AP) — Crews and homeowners cleaning up after a weekend tornado swept through a southwestern Indiana town are working under the watchful eye of local officials eager to make sure they adhere to social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After Saturday night's storm swept through neighborhoods in Newburgh, an Ohio River town of about 3,000 residents, cleanup crews, homeowners and volunteers fanned out across the area Sunday and again Monday as officials monitored them to ensure that they were not working too closely together, said Dave Woolen, director of Warrick County Emergency Management.

“I’m not saying we’re getting done. But we’re trying to keep our people that are working to have that 6 feet spacing," he said Monday of public health advice for combating the virus' spread.

Two people were injured in Saturday's storm or its immediate aftermath, including an elderly woman who was airlifted to a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, for surgery on a severe hand injury, Woolen said.

Initial damage estimates found that three homes were destroyed by the tornado and several others sustained major or minor damage in Newburgh, located just east of Evansville, he said. Damage assessments and cleanup work resumed Monday along streets and residential properties.

Saturday night’s tornado initially touched down in an adjacent portion of Kentucky before sweeping across the Ohio River into Newburgh.

The National Weather Service in Paducah, Kentucky, said the tornado was an EF-2 with peak winds of 125 mph that left a 5-mile-long trail of damage that included hundreds of snapped or uprooted trees and property damage.

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