Owen Dispatcher Believes Home Damaged By Unconfirmed Tornado In Greene County
Despite reports of straight line winds being issued by the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, Owen County Security Center Dispatcher Frank Cecil remains confident that recent damage to his rural Greene County rental home was caused by an unconfirmed tornado.
A late afternoon severe weather warning on Tuesday, July 31 predicted winds in excess of 45 miles per hour, and Cecil himself says he witnessed a damaging hail storm that accompanied the heavy wind.
“I contacted the National Weather Service and they said there was no tornadic action on the radar at that time. I contacted Roger Axe with Greene County Emergency Management and he said he had contacted the National Weather Service, and they said it was straight line winds,” Cecil said. “I’ve been around these kinds of things too long and I don’t believe it was straight line wind that caused this damage... you can see where it (tornado) came off of the hill and see where it hit the tree tops there before it hit the house. Then it went east and took out some treetops there before it turned and went down the river. We’ve got debris in three or four different areas.”
On his way home from Spencer, Cecil says stopped at a friend’s house where he received a cell phone call from a neighbor informing him that a portion of his home was gone.
“I sent pictures to (Owen County Emergency Management Director) Jack White, and he agreed. He said straight line winds don’t do that,” Cecil said. “We have debris scattered for 40 to 50 yards; we’ve actually found pieces of (my) house about an eighth of a mile down the road.”
Ripping off a portion of the home’s roof, as well as removing and demolishing an attached and enclosed carport, the damage to Cecil’s home near the Owen- Greene county line was limited to the west side of the structure.
“The attached carport was built on; (the tornado) picked it up, threw it over the home and over power lines. It tore the back porch off of the house and part of the eve and roof,” Cecil said. “On the back porch, I have three windows facing to the west, which is the direction it came from, and it didn’t touch them. But the windows on the door to the north were blown out, so were the windows in the porch on the south side. It blew them completely out to the south and my backyard is nothing but glass way back to the east.”
Thanks to renters insurance, Cecil said repairs are scheduled to be made in the near future.
“There is nothing around me, except for fields and a few barns. The cornfields aren’t laid down and if there were straight line winds, the corn stalks would be laid down,” he said. “Everybody at the (Owen County) Sheriff’s Department has offered to help, but that’s okay, I’ll clean it up. I’m just aggravated with the National Weather Service because they’re just going off the (weather radar) on a computer screen.”
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