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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

'Stormy weather' -- more than song title

Monday, May 12, 2003

Matthew Aubruey and his fianceƩ, Jayme Lalen, went boating on West Jackson Street Saturday afternoon after a heavy rain storm went through town. They were visiting her parents at 611 W. Jackson and borrowed Jayme's dad's boat to have a little fun. Matthew used a shovel for an oar. Neighbor, Mandy Bick, 9, played along beside while an unidentified man observed. Mandy's mother, Michelle Bick, said they just moved to Brazil from California about a month ago. "We lived in a desert area," she said. "We've never seen anything like this before." Linda Messmer photo

For the first time in years, stormy weather cancelled the annual Clay County Loyalty Day Parade Saturday.

At high noon, skies over Brazil were as dark as night, causing street lights to turn on.

Around 11 a.m. Saturday, a severe thunderstorm that slammed into Terre Haute, ripping a roof from the Honey Creek fire station, causing flooding and pea-sized hail, had left Vigo County and entered Clay County, according to reports on WTHI-TV.

Saturday morning, heavy rains caused water to rise 2-3 feet deep on Jackson Street, Dave Archer, who directed traffic away from the neighborhood, told reporter Linda Messmer. Street flooding quickly subsided after it stopped raining.

A second wave of storms weakened as it hit Terre Haute, according to Channel 10's radar image broadcast on WTHI-TV. A third wave of storms brought lightning and heavy rain to Clay County Saturday night.

Clay County remained under a flood warning Sunday morning. Flooding could approach levels seen in May 2002, according to the National Weather Service. The Eel River was included in the warning area.

Times intern Meg Grey is preparing a report on Eel River flooding in the Clay City area.

The flood warning came after much of the area received 2-3 inches of rain Saturday. Gloria Ruhe of the USDA Service Center in Clay County's Soil and Water Conservation District Office reported that Brazil received 2.4 inches of rain over the weekend.

The National Weather Service recommended people living in flood-prone areas take precautions immediately.

Early Saturday evening, Clay County was under a flood warning and tornado watch issued by the National Weather Service. No tornadoes resulting in injury or serious damage were reported to the Clay County Sheriff's Department Saturday through this morning. Strong winds toppled trees and caused power outages on Saturday.

Following Saturday morning's storm activity, the skies turned sunny and temperatures soared into the 80s from the mid-60s. Meteorologists were watching a cold front in Illinois that brought with it thunderstorms as it moved into the Wabash Valley.

Fast-moving thunderstorms on Saturday created at least one tornado and brought heavy winds and torrential rain to central and southern Indiana, leaving streets under water and damaging buildings.

Surveying the damage after the early afternoon storms, the National Weather Service confirmed that one weak tornado touched down briefly in Cloverdale, about 40 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

The tornado was on the ground for roughly three minutes, meteorologists said. It traveled less than one mile and left three houses in its path slightly damaged.

"We've done the bulk of our field work. What we'll continue to do is work with emergency management to see if we need to go back out tomorrow," said John Ogren, meteorologist in charge of the weather service station that covers most of central Indiana.

The weather service issued tornado and flash flood warnings for 26 counties in central Indiana throughout the day. One general flood warning continues until Sunday afternoon in counties including Boone, Hamilton, and Randolph.

The counties hit heaviest by the rains were Daviess, Martin and Lawrence counties, where 4 to 5 inches fell. Montgomery, Boone and Madison counties received 3 to 5 inches, Ogren said.

The severe weather also forced officials at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to cancel the first day of qualifications for the Indianapolis 500.

High winds also destroyed the Maroska family's steel barn outside Greenfield, about 15 miles east of Indianapolis in Hancock County. Pieces of the barn were blown hundreds of yards away into a neighboring field.

"The sky was gray and the wind was blowing," said Bonnie Maroska. "The sound was like nothing I've ever heard before."

The weather service said a low pressure system moving east through the state and colliding with a warm mass of air destabilized the system enough to cause the storms.

Cinergy Corp. reported that 17,000 customers in the state had been affected by the storm. As of Saturday afternoon, 12,000 were still without power, according to spokeswoman Angeline Protogere.

She could not estimate when power would return.

"There are different problems around the state that will take varying lengths of time to restore customers to service," Protogere said. "We'll certainly work until all customers are back in service."

The chance of showers and thunderstorms continues through Thursday., with cooler temperatures expected throughout the state, the weather service said.

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