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Tornado causes damage near Elizabeth

Tornado causes damage near Elizabeth
Tornado causes damage near Elizabeth
David Brengman, left, takes a break from salvage work Thursday morning to talk with Corey Thatcher of Indiana Utilities Corp. In the background is a barn that received extensive damage from an EF-0 tornado that struck early the previous morning. Photo by Alan Stewart (click for larger version)

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado spun through southern Harrison County and across the Ohio River into Louisville early last Wednesday morning.
A NWS survey team said that at 4:17 a.m., an EF-0 tornado with wind speeds estimated to be about 80 mph and about 215 yards wide touched down about three miles east of Elizabeth along S.R. 111. Four homes and two storage structures were damaged along the roadway, and several hillside trees were snapped in the canopy and thrown to the ground.
The roof over the porch of Roger Glaze’s home ‘ which sits at the bottom of a large bluff ‘ was lifted and pitched backward onto the main roof, and a large magnolia tree in his front yard was felled in the opposite direction.
He’d been sleeping as family and neighbors gathered in his basement as the storm approached. His phone had a severe weather alert that went off and woke him.
Glaze, 74, said the entire ordeal lasted only a few seconds.
Just across 111, the walls of a red barn owned by Glaze’s daughter, Teresa Campbell, collapsed in multiple directions and the metal roofing was peeled back. Next to that, the old Riverside Presbyterian Church, which had formerly stood at Bridgeport near the site of Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino and Hotel, received extensive damage to the roof and the front wall was blown out.
Both buildings were damaged structurally beyond repair and were to be torn down last weekend.
‘We’re trying to get things cleaned out the best we can and salvage what we can,’ David Brengman, Glaze’s son-in-law, said.
Also damaged was a former one-room schoolhouse, the old Glaze School, which had metal roofing peeled back.
Glaze said his father’s sister and her daughter were killed near the intersection of state roads 111 and 211 in the 1920s by a twister, so he’s fully aware of a storm’s impact.
‘The main thing is that nobody got hurt. That’s the best thing of it,’ Glaze said. ‘I always thought we were safe down here at the bottom of the hill, but I don’t guess so now. Tornadoes can be weird. In the one that killed my aunt, it killed them, but there was a peddle sewing machine that had a thimble sitting on it that was untouched.’
The track of last week’s tornado extended to the Ohio River and into Louisville, where many softwood trees were damaged, a pine tree was snapped and a trampoline was blown over northwest of Valley Station.
A century-old barn in the Rosewood Road area was also flattened during the storm, but it’s not known if straight-line winds or a tornado caused the damage.
The NWS also confirmed other Jan. 30 tornadoes in Southern Indiana and Kentucky as well, including an EF-1 tornado in Orange County, an EF-0 tornado in Washington County and an EF-0 tornado in Meade County.
The Meade County twister was not the same one that touched down in Elizabeth, the NWS said.
Since 1830, Harrison County has had 24 confirmed tornadoes.