May 28, 2019

Pendleton Recovers From Scary Moment After Tornado Hits Town

At least 75 homes were damaged in Pendleton after a tornado touched down Monday, May 28, 2019.  - Indiana Department Of Homeland Security

At least 75 homes were damaged in Pendleton after a tornado touched down Monday, May 28, 2019.

Indiana Department Of Homeland Security
Emily Cox and Micah Yason

Tornadoes twisted through Ohio and Indiana overnight. At least one person was killed and some 90 people were injured.

The National Weather Service confirmed EF2 tornado touched down in Pendleton, Indiana, with winds estimated between 111-135 mph. About 75 homes were damaged, but no fatalities or serious injuries were reported.

Uprooted trees are scattered throughout downtown. Roofs of some homes were caved in from fallen trees, power lines and utility poles were also down. Along the town’s main street workers were seen cutting the limbs of fallen trees and residents were cleaning up debris around their homes.

Patty Hinton has lived in Pendleton for 25 years.  She said the town feels lucky – but effectively shut down for now.

“It’s going to take weeks, if not months to get everything cleared up,” Hinton said Tuesday outside her home. “Then I know there are houses that need to be repaired that is going to take a long time.”

A tree fell into Hinton's backyard – missing her house.

“Somebody looked out the sliding glass window and could see it and yelled, it’s here, so we got down in the basement before,” she said. “But things were flying, we could hear things popping, so it was a pretty scary moment there.”

Christine McKain, a town resident of 20 years, sat on her front porch with her grandchildren as they followed orders to stay off the debris-covered roads.

“As my granddaughter said, ‘Do you feel like we’re trapped here on a front porch with a cool breeze?'” said McKain. “Oh, gee. Yes. We have water and we have food and we have our curiosity, so we’re in pretty good shape aren’t we?”

During the day around 4,000 people in the city without power, according to the Red Cross. The local high school was used as a shelter Monday night and will continue to be open Tuesday night if needed.

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