NWS: Tornadoes strike LaGrange, Kosciusko counties

National Weather Service

NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. (WANE) – The National Weather Service Northern Indiana has released preliminary damage assessment reports after strong storms hit the area Tuesday.

NWS said an EF-1 tornado moved through LaGrange County around 1:30 a.m.

Information released by the weather service said the 50-yard wide tornado initially touched down one mile west-southwest of LaGrange near U.S. 20 and was on the ground for approximately one mile. Weather officials said the winds were estimated at 95 miles per hour and the tornado was on the ground for two minutes.

The damage report said the tornado uprooted trees and entered LaGrange just south of the hospital. The tornado produced minor structural damage to homes along Grant Street before lifting just west of South Mountain Street.

NWS said a significant microburst was noted across southern LaGrange County south of U.S. 20 with winds estimated at 85 miles per hour. NWS believes this microburst was responsible for damage to Parkside Elementary School.

A separate microburst occurred on the northeast side of Big Long Lake were numerous trees were uprooted. The NWS said the microburst was in the same area an 8 foot diameter tree fell onto a home and killed a man. The same microburst was responsible for damage in Stroh and Big Turkey Lake.

A second tornado was noted by the National Weather Service Northern Indiana late Tuesday night in Kosciusko County.

The weather service estimated the EF-0 tornado initially touched down 3 1/2 miles west of Milford around 1:06 a.m. The service said the winds were approximately 80 miles per hour and the estimated width of the twister was about 50 yards. Officials said the tornado was on the ground for about 1.9 miles and lifted at 1:08 a.m.

The tornado touched down just south of County Road 1250 North and east of County Road 400 West. Damage assessors found a large metal farm building completely destroyed and noted the tornado went through a corn field before destroying a second barn near County Road 200 West north of County Road 1250 North. Observers found missle debris scattered to the east across County Road 200 West and into another corn field.

NWS said a microburst hit the northwest side of Syracuse. Damage reports indicated the athletic complex at Wawasee High School sustained damage and several trees were uprooted onto structures along Boston Street and Brooklyn Street. Trees were also uprooted along the north shore of Syracuse Lake.

NWS said Tuesday’s storm is the first since at least 2000 that multiple fatalities occurred as a result of a single storm event in northeast Indiana.

The National Weather Service Northern Indiana said the above information is preliminary and subject to change pending final review. NWS may conduct additional surveys to gather more information as needed. 

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