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March 14 Tornado Review

Damage of Winchester, IN Taco Bell, courtesy of the NWS Indianapolis

March 14 tornado that struck the towns of Selma, Indiana in eastern Delaware County and Winchester, Indiana in central Randolph County has been rated as an EF-3 tornado with estimated peak winds of 165 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. It is still preliminary at the moment.

Selma-Winchester, IN damage path, courtesy of the NWS Indianapolis damage survey

Around 7:37pm EDT, the tornado began near Selma. According to the NWS, the tornado produced EF-2 damage with estimated peak winds between 120-130 mph to homes in Selma. Then as it traveled across the open land between Selma and Winchester, the tornado damaged utility poles and even badly damaging one of the blades of a wind turbine.

Radar imagery of the tornado approaching Selma, IN, courtesy of the NWS Indianapolis

As the tornado arrived in Winchester, it did a high end EF-2 damage to homes in western portion of the town before producing a high-end EF-3 damage to the Taco Bell. As it exited Winchester, it continued to do damage to structures in rural eastern Randolph County at an EF-2 intensity ranging from 115-125 mph. Then it crossed into Darke County in Ohio and produced EF-1 damage with winds as high as 110 mph, as it was found by the National Weather Service in Wilmington, OH. The tornado continued, passing north of downtown Greenville before exiting Darke County and enter Miami County. The tornado strengthened back to EF-2 intensity in Miami County with winds up to 120 mph as it did damage to two homes and other nearby properties. Finally, the tornado dissipated around 9pm EDT north of Covington, Ohio.

In total, this tornado was on the ground for 49.23 miles for roughly over an hour and crossing multiple states.38 people were injured from the Indiana portion of the tornado, and 2 injuries in Ohio from the same tornado, so the total is 40 people injured from this strong, long-tracked tornado. Thankfully, no fatalities from this tornado.

The tornado that hit Selma in eastern Delaware county marks the first tornado to hit Delaware county since the EF-1 tornado that struck downtown Muncie, back in November 5th, 2017, or approximately 7 years. The EF-1 tornado did do some minor structural damage to the Muncie Fieldhouse on that day. The 7 year tornado drought for Delaware County has officially ended as of March 14, 2024.

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