By Deb Patterson
The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-1 tornado hit North Webster Monday evening, Aug. 10. The hardest hit area was Epworth Forest, on the northeast side of town.
Information from the NWS Northern Indiana indicates the tornado started one mile north-northwest of North Webster at 6:55 p.m. and lasted four minutes, dissipating at 6:59 p.m. 1.2 miles east of town. The path length has been estimated at 2.3 miles with a width of 100 feet. The peak winds were estimated at 90 miles per hour.
NWS states trees were snapped west of SR 13 with evidence the tornado went across SR 13 leaving behind a notable path of trees snapped and broken limbs. The debris was scattered throughout the parking lot of North Webster United Methodist Church, Epworth Forest Road. The church also sustained some damage to the roof. Additional areas of tree damage was sustained to the east-southeast in Epworth Forest. Some homes in Epworth Forest sustained damage due to falling trees and branches. The tornado then crossed over Lake Webster and dissipated.
NIPSCO reported more than 264 customers in North Webster, 78 customers on EMS B35 Lane, 40 customers in Syracuse and two in Milford remain without power due to storm damage. The utility company indicated while crews are working around the clock, it is expected nearly all customers to be restored by Friday evening, with some extending into Saturday. NIPSCO has 19,700 customers still without power out of the original 95,000.
Further north, the Hunnicutt Addition in Syracuse that includes Lynwood, Van Hemert, Hunnicutt and Harkless drives, appeared to have been the heaviest hit in Syracuse.
A car parked along Van Hemert Drive at a home listed as belonging to Angelica Zuniga was totaled when a large limb fell onto the vehicle. Further north, dodging limbs in the street, at 400 E. Hunnnicutt Drive, the home and vehicles at the Douglas and Debra Bradley home sustained damage when at least one large tree was uprooted and large branches from several other trees fell on the home.
A large tree in the front yard at the home listed as owned by Jeffrey C. Skillen, 1001 S. Harkless Drive, fell, not only falling on power lines, but also out onto Harkless Drive blocking the roadway. A number of other homes in that addition had large limbs downed in yards.
Up the road at Wawasee High School, Turkey Creek Fire Territory was standing by near the baseball fields when a tree fell on a power line causing a fire in the woods and brush separating the school property from the homes in Fox Run.
The county communications center received numerous calls of road hazards and storm damage as early as 7:10 p.m. and continued throughout the evening. Fire departments in Turkey Creek and Tippecanoe Township were also kept busy responding to power lines arcing and small fires after trees and limbs fell on power lines.
County highway crews are out throughout the county removing trees from roadways with NIPSCO and KREMC crews restoring power and replacing poles.