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[IDHS] UPDATE (March 3, 2012 5:55 pm): State of Indiana Response to Tornado Activity in Southeastern Indiana
Start Date: 3/5/2012
End Date: 3/5/2012
Entry Description

UPDATE (5:55 pm): State of Indiana Response to Tornado Activity in Southeastern Indiana

March 3, 2012
5:55 p.m.

State of Indiana Response to Tornado Activity in Southeastern Indiana


Yesterday, on March 2, 2012, tornadoes struck the southern part of the State of Indiana. Counties known to have sustained damage include: Clark, Jefferson, Posey, Ripley, Warrick, Washington and Wayne. Spencer County is also reported to have sustained minor damage. The hardest hit counties are reported to be Jefferson, Scott, Ripley and Washington Counties. The full extent of damage sustained in these counties is still unknown. Damage assessments are beginning. It will be a few days before damage estimates can be quantified.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels spent much of today touring storm damaged communities in Southern Indiana.

The Indiana National Guard, State of Indiana, and Marion County have deployed teams to respond to the event. Federal officials are en route to the State EOC.

Henryville Water Supply: Water has been partially restored to the town of Henryville. Residents are advised they are under a DO NOT CONSUME warning.

Disaster Mental Health Teams: Three teams from Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addictions have been deployed to Washington, Clark and Ripley counties to provide assistance to those impacted by the storms.

Toll-Free Crisis Counseling Line: The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) has established a toll free hotline to provide mental health services for those affected by the storm: 1-866 679 4631. Individuals can receive counseling by phone or referrals for services.

Road Closures:
• SR 160 East-bound (Clark Co) from West of Henryville at I-65
• U.S. 31 from S.R. 356 (Scott Co.) to S.R. 403 (Clark Co)
• U.S. 50 (Jennings Co) from U.S. 421 to North Vernon
For information on road closures, visit the Indiana Travel Conditions site, which can be found at or by calling (800) 261-ROAD (7623)

New Shelter Opened: A new Red Cross shelter has been opened at:
Chelsea Church of God **Opened 3/3***
6231 S. State Road 62
Lexington, IN 47138

Shelter Closures: Two shelters are no longer providing services:
Lide White Boys and Girls Club
1551 M.S.H Northgate Road
Madison, IN 47250

Country Lake Christian Retreat
815 Underwood
Henryville, IN
Technology in Shelters: Laptops and Internet service are being placed in official shelters to allow residents to register at, so they may share their whereabouts and status to connect with friends and family.
Power Outages: 726 customers without power
Indiana Task Force 1: Indiana Task Force 1 team members are completing search and rescue activities on Saturday, March 3, and will be returning home after finalizing operations.
Volunteers: Individuals or groups who want to volunteer in storm-affected areas should contact Indiana Volunteers Active in Disasters, online at: . Well-meaning individuals who show up to help without prior contact or coordination with disaster management personnel in southern Indiana can further complicate or even hinder response and recovery operations already underway.
Storm Damage Reports: Hoosiers, who sustained damage caused by severe weather that began Thursday, March 1, are being asked to report damage online by visiting and clicking on “Citizen Damage Reports for March Severe Weather” in the middle of the page under “Topics of the Day.” This is NOT an application for any assistance program, but a way to help local emergency managers to assess storm damage progress.


Communications: Only limited communication issues are being reported at this time.

Open Shelters List:
Charlestown High School
1 Pirate Place
Charlestown, IN 47111

South Ripley Elementary School
1568 S. Benham Road
Versailles, IN 47042

American Legion
209 S. Main St
Salem, IN 47167

Chelsea Church of God **Opened 3/3***
6231 S. State Road 62
Lexington, IN 47138

Utilities: Due to many gas leaks, all natural gas services have been turned off in Henryville.

Public Health: a tetanus clinic is being set up for Washington County residents ONLY at Pekin United Methodist Church in Pekin at 244 South Shorts Corner Rd.
There are 14 confirmed fatalities:
Jefferson County, 4
Scott County, 3
Ripley County, 2
Washington County, 4
Clark County, 1

Injuries: While significant numbers of injuries are being reported, there are no reports of local medical facilities being overwhelmed.


State Emergency Operations Center:
Under the leadership of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), the Indiana Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has increased staffing and will remain activated 24 hours a day to monitor conditions and provide resource support to county emergency agencies in areas affected by this afternoon’s severe storms and tornado activity.

State Agencies supporting activities in the State EOC include:
Indiana State Board of Animal Health
Indiana Department of Administration
Indiana Department of Correction
Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Indiana Department of Homeland Security
Indiana Department of Natural Resources—Indiana Conservation Officer
Indiana Department of Transportation
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
Indiana National Guard
Indiana State Department of Health
Indiana State Excise Police
Indiana State Police
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
Integrated Public Safety Commission

Other organizations supporting activities in the State EOC include:
Indiana Task Force 1 (federal team)
American Red Cross

Teams Deployed:
Indiana Task Force 1 (84 persons): Deployed on 3/2, completed search and rescue operations late Saturday (3/3), and began demobilizing to return home as the next phase of response begins.

District Response Task Force (DRTF) 5 IMT (7 persons each shift – 14 total): Deployed to operate as Clark County Emergency Operations Center (Sellersburg, IN)

District Response Task Force (DRTF) 4 (55 persons): Arrived in Salem, IN overnight to report to New Pekin for 0830 Briefing. Mission is to provide any needed assistance to Washington County and Town of New Pekin

Indiana IMAT (12 persons): Arrived in Henryville, IN on 3/2 to begin incident management coordination of the Henryville and Marysville areas

INNG: Deploying (1 Pkg – 49 persons) Multi Function Force Package (MFFP) to New Pekin to assist DRTF 4 and (1 pkg – 49 persons) to Henryville to report to Indiana IMAT.

Indiana National Guard (INNG):
Indiana National Guard stands ready to aid the citizens of southern Indiana during this disaster that was created by tornadoes that ripped through Marysville and Henryville, Indiana during the afternoon of Friday March 2nd.

280 Indiana National Guardsmen are reporting to locations in southern Indiana to provide Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA). The troops will be working with emergency management services in the affected areas.

The soldiers are deployed to Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) Districts 8 and 9 to provide support to the communities affected by tornadoes to prevent the loss of life and human suffering.

Indiana National Guard is also providing aerial support to assess the affected areas. The INNG will be using Black Hawks for the air missions from Shelbyville Armory Aviation Facility.

The Guardsmen stand ready for search and rescue, patient evacuation, civilian evacuation, debris clearance, route recon, area security and any other missions as directed by IDHS if needed during the disaster relief.

Department of Natural Resources:
Twenty Indiana Conservation Officers with several Four-Wheel-Drive and All-Terrain Vehicles have been deployed to Clark, Jefferson, Scott, and Washington counties to support ongoing search and rescue efforts. Seven additional officers from central Indiana are poised to deploy tomorrow.

The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry has assembled a saw crew which is standing by to deploy to southern Indiana to assist with debris removal.

Indiana State Police (ISP):
More than 100 ISP troopers from around Indiana have been deployed to affected areas.

More than twenty troopers with the Tactical Intervention Platoon (TIP) from Bloomington, IN have been deployed to southern Indiana to assist local law enforcement with security.

The Mobile Command Center and high ranking ISP officers have been deployed to Henryville to assist local law enforcement with ongoing security efforts.

Vehicles from Indianapolis have been deployed to southern Indiana to replace several damaged vehicles during the tornado events.

The Indiana Department of Transportation is supporting numerous county crews in clearing main thoroughfares of debris.

District Response Task Forces:
Fifty-five individuals with the IDHS District 4 Response Task Force have deployed to New Pekin.

IDHS District 5 Incident Management Team (7 persons) have also deployed to southern Indiana.

Staffed with local firefighters, law enforcement personnel, emergency medical services personnel, emergency managers, and other local emergency response professionals, the District Response Task Forces will support county emergency management agencies in the affected areas.

The accompanying map indicates the counties that comprise each IDHS district.

The Indiana Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) is the forward response team for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) during times of disaster and large scale emergencies. While the team is hosted by IDHS, the team consists of 12 members from multiple state agencies and is designed to handle all types of emergency incidents. The IDHS IMAT will be the forward eyes and ears in Henryville for the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

The IDHS IMAT has deployed with the Incident Response Vehicle (IRV) which has satellite connectivity, a weather station, video teleconferencing capabilities and internal/external Wi-Fi capabilities. The IRV also supports workstations for six, a conference table and various communications capabilities including satellite radio and telephone.


Anyone uncertain about the safety of residents in affected areas should visit and click on “List Yourself or Search Registrants” to register or see if their loved one has checked in.

Tornado survivors and concerned citizens can call 2-1-1 (or 317.926.4357) for help and information regarding the recent severe weather event.

Hoosiers in the affected areas are asked to pay attention to and follow the directions of all local law enforcement and public safety officials. Hoosiers NOT in affected areas already are asked to refrain from traveling to affected areas.

The single best way to help disaster survivors in southeastern Indiana is with a cash donation to a legitimate relief agency, such as the American Red Cross, operating in the area.

People can help those affected by disasters like the Midwest tornadoes and storms, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Consider making a donation today by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Contributions enable the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.

Other sites to make monetary donations include:;; and .

For more information about actions before, during and after severe weather and tornados, visit

Follow IDHS on Facebook and on Twitter at to stay informed about this developing situation.

Text “follow IDHS” to 40404 to receive updates from IDHS even if you do not have a twitter account.


Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Homeland Security, Indiana Department of

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