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Severe Storms, Tornadoes Hit Ind.

September 21, 2002

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MONROE CITY, Ind. (AP) _ Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes raked Indiana on Friday, damaging dozens of homes, flipping cars and uprooting trees.

There were many reports of minor injuries, and authorities are still checking some areas.

``It’s going to take a long time because there’s a lot of damage, and there are a lot of roads that are impassable right now,″ state Trooper Jackie Taylor said.

Ten to 12 houses were destroyed and an apartment complex was damaged in Ellettsville 50 miles south of Indianapolis, Taylor said.

``It’s been several years since we have had widespread damage in the state like this,″ said Alden Taylor, a spokesman for the State Emergency Management Agency.

A tornado near Monroe City, about 100 miles southwest of Indianapolis, damaged 12 to 15 homes and destroyed some of them, said Steve Dillon, director of Knox county emergency management.

Weather forecasters issued several tornado warnings, including one in southwestern Pike County that Lori Dedrick heard while she was shopping. She rushed to her parents’ home to wait out the storm in the basement with her parents.

``Within five minutes, our ears started popping″ because of the tornado, Dedrick said.

The storm tore off the deck of the house and a neighbor’s roof, Dedrick said.

Taylor said emergency officials received reports that 15 trailer homes and a county garage were destroyed in Posey County in southwest Indiana.

Strong winds also tore off part of the roof of an Indianapolis YMCA and flipped at least 40 cars in a mall parking lot in Greenwood, just south of the capital.

The state’s emergency center in Indianapolis was activated as the storms developed, and officials were busy monitoring the weather and taking damage reports, Taylor said.

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