Austin, Indiana, hit hard by severe storms early Wednesday morni - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Austin, Indiana, hit hard by severe storms early Wednesday morning

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Roof ripped off a home in Austin, In. Roof ripped off a home in Austin, In.
Tree down in Austin. Tree down in Austin.
Storm damage in Austin. Storm damage in Austin.
Flooded roads in Austin. Flooded roads in Austin.
Trees fall on home in Austin. Trees fall on home in Austin.

AUSTIN, Ind. (WDRB) - The small town of Austin was hit hard by severe storms Wednesday morning.

The damage is the most significant on the outskirts of Austin. Power lines were downed, leaving thousands of people without power for much of the day Wednesday. Many roads were also flooded, making some impassable in the rural area. 

Winds were so strong through the overnight and early morning that several homes were destroyed. 

"Everything's lost ... It's a total loss,” Terra Smith said. 

The roof of Smith’s home was completely ripped off, and she woke up as it was happening. 

“I got my girls and threw them in the bathroom and was trying to get the boys door open," Smith said. "The roof was gone off of the boys' room. I don't know how they were all right."

She says everyone is safe but shaken. 

All of this reported activity happened around 6 a.m. Wednesday. Our WDRB radar data shows strong rotation in the area around that time.That information, along with the damage, indicates a possible tornado hit Austin.

Smith says she’s never seen a tornado before but says it was like a nightmare. 

"It sounded like a train came through here," she said. "I mean it was that bad."

Kenny Sipe lives down the road from Smith. He echoes the same description of what he heard and saw Wednesday morning. 

"I was sound asleep, then all of a sudden it sounded like a freight train was coming through the house,” Sipe said. 

Massive trees were uprooted and thrown onto his home, and miraculously, no one was hurt. In fact, the Austin Police Department says there has been no reports of injuries due to the storm.

Sipe says he believes it was a tornado because he has lived through many and recognized the sound. Other witnesses in the area reported seeing the tornado. 

The National Weather Service is surveying the area Wednesday afternoon and evening, and we should have more information within a few hours. We won't know if there was a confirmed tornado or how strong it was until we get those survey results. 

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