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'I started shaking:' New homeowner rushes family to storm shelter as tornado bears down

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
June 19, 2019, 2:37:24 PM EDT


Dozens of homes were damaged over the weekend when a strong tornado tracked through Ellettsville, Indiana. The town is located in central Indiana, just over an hour's drive southwest of Indianapolis, and was ground zero for one of the handful of tornadoes to strike the state on Saturday.

"We went into the hallway and laid on the floor. We could hear things crashing around the house and I prayed,” Sue Day told ABC News after the tornado swept through her neighborhood.

Tornado damage IN home

A tree came crashing down onto Sue Day' sister-in-law's home in Ellettsville, Indiana, on Saturday, June 15, 2019. (ABC)


The Dixon family also rushed for shelter as the tornado approached their home, which they had just moved into one week prior. They took refuge in a storm shelter in their backyard as the damaging tornado roared through.

“I poked my head out and just looked and I had no idea it was gonna be that bad,” homeowner Ryan Dixon told ABC News.

Tornado close encounter

Ryan Dixon rushed his family into a backyard storm shelter as the tornado touched down nearby. (ABC News)


"I stayed calm when it happened, but after I realized what happened I started shaking, kinda scared. It's surreal,” Dixon said.

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AccuWeather Severe Weather Center

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Indianapolis determined that the tornado that hit Ellettsville on Saturday was an EF2 with maximum winds of 130 mph. The twister was on the ground for 10 minutes, between 6:48 p.m. EDT and 6:58 p.m. EDT, and tracked nearly 4 miles.

indiana tornado

An image of the tornado that hit Ellettsville, Indiana, on Saturday, June 15, 2019. (Photo/Cleve Koehler)


Miraculously, there were no injuries or fatalities despite the fact that the storm damaged 32 homes and destroyed four others.

The Ellettsville tornado was one of five tornadoes confirmed in central Indiana on Saturday and was one of the strongest. Another EF2 was confirmed to the southwest of Ellettsville in Greene County.

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