Monday, May 30, 2011

The Bedford, Indiana Tornado while at the NCAA East Championships

 Roughly 5 miles from our hotel this photo was taken of a tornado forming East of Bedford, Indiana.
(Photo by Stacey Cummings)
On Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 our University of Richmond team was in Bloomington, IN for the NCAA Track & Field Championship East Preliminary Round.  After a short workout at the Indiana University facility our staff and athletes headed back to Bedford, IN where we were staying. When Lori and team members entered a Starbucks they wondered where everyone, including the workers were.  They found them seeking shelter in the back of the store, so they joined them when they were told the emergency system warned of imminent danger due to tornado's in the area.

Here are a few photos of the actual Bedford Tornado taken by Stacey Cummings and a few I took the day following of its destruction East of Bedford.  The National Weather Service classified this as an EF-2 with winds between 111-135 miles per hour:

The National Weather Service confirmed that a high-end EF-2 tornado with winds between 111-135 miles per hour struck Bedford, Indiana.
(Photo by Stacey Cummings)

The Bedford Tornado touching down.  It left a 8 mile long path in its wake.
(Photo by Stacey Cummings)

After speaking with a couple members of the community who told us where the tornado hit, several of our team members drove through the area of destruction.  If this was an EF-2 I personally can't imagine what the larger tornado's could do..
The damage was complete destruction...Thankfully no one was seriously hurt.
Everything in the tornado's path was destroyed.
This pick-up truck was tossed around and moved over 100 yards from where it was parked before the tornado hit.
The day after the tornado, family members started the pain staking task of trying to cleanup and salvage as much as they could. 
The pick up truck was a complete loss as were several homes.
This home saved several members of one family.  Even though the entire house was moved from it's foundation it's basement served as a refuge to the family and several neighbors who watched the tornado approach before escaping it in the basement.
Friends and neighbors showed up to help with the cleanup.
The southern most wall of this home took most of the damage.  Again, thankfully no one was seriously hurt in the tornado.
The day after...
Again, the destruction was terrible...Notice the windows of this car were completely broken.
The Bedford Tornado snapped trees in its path...
The tornado left a path roughly 200M wide and 8 miles long.
Trees were snapped off and uprooted...
Power lines were down...
In the foreground you can see the roof from a house 1/4 mile away...and in the background you can see that trees were knocked down as the tornado left the area.
This tree was broken off narrowly missing the home.
The owner of the building next to the pickup truck was in his field retrieving 2x4's ripped from his building.

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