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Funnel cloud in Fort Wayne

This is a time lapse video a storm cell north of Fort Wayne, Ind., producing a funnel cloud on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
A car drives through high water on Wallen Road on Thursday morning after heavy rain hit the area Wednesday night.

City manages to dodge worst of severe storms

Although Fort Wayne rode out Wednesday night's and Thursday morning's storm without much damage, neighboring areas were not so fortunate, officials said.

"Fort Wayne pretty well missed the worst of it as opposed to last year's massive summer storm, when it got the most of it," said Evan Bentley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Syracuse. "Most of the area did dodge a bullet on this one."

Fort Wayne residents likely saw some heavy rainfall and lightning but missed most of the excitement because the storm took longer to arrive than expected and wasn't spinning as quickly, Bentley said.

An EF-0 tornado with winds of about 80 mph touched down briefly at 11:27 p.m. and tore through three blocks of homes in Willshire, Ohio, in Van Wert County, Bentley said.

One man saw the tornado descend into his yard, snapping two large trees before continuing down the street, according to National Weather Service reports.

Rick McCoy, emergency management director for Van Wert County, said about a dozen homes were damaged by the tornado, some missing shingles and others missing roofs.

"One home had all of the windows busted out and was clear full of glass," McCoy said.

No one was injured in the storm, through several families will be temporarily displaced, he said.

"We've had crews out all day cleaning out the area. Most of the trees in town are cleaned up," he said. "Lucky for us, that was the only location in the county that was hit."

In Churubusco and Huntertown, residents reported quarter-sized hail and heavier rainfall, with totals in Huntertown reaching 3.42 inches, Bentley said.

Kosciusko County officials closed 10 roads because of flooding, according to the sheriff's department.

Bentley said winds of 50 to 60 mph winds whipped through the southern part of Allen County, but the damage was little compared with other parts of the state that saw 90- to 100-mph winds.

A grain silo and two pole barns in Wabash were destroyed, Bentley said.

In Fort Wayne, crews cleaned up fallen tree branches and checked roads and areas for flooding.

Between 1 and 3 inches of rain fell in parts of the city during the storm. Most of the rain was concentrated in the northwest, Bentley said.

By 9:45 a.m. Thursday, only Cook Road between Butt and Felger roads was closed because of water, according to the Allen County Highway Department.

Indiana Michigan Power estimated that about 700 Allen County customers were without power overnight, but power has been fully restored.

Nick Geerken, assistant store manager at Home Depot, 6235 Lima Road, said sales reflected the same story being reported by the weather service.

"Usually, when there's a big storm like this where lots of people are affected, we see people coming in in droves," he said. "Not this time. We haven't sold many sump pumps or things like that today."

jcrothers@jg.net

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