Storms And High Winds Buffet 4 Midwestern States

Friday, April 27th 2007, 7:23 am
By: News On 6

LAPORTE, Ind. (AP) _ Storms packing winds strong enough to toss a police cruiser over a 3-foot-high fence spawned apparent tornadoes that leveled houses and downed power lines in several states.

The storms buffeted parts of Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois and Ohio on Thursday. Tornadoes apparently touched down in Tennessee and Illinois, officials in those states said.

In New Tazewell, Tenn., at least seven people were injured by debris. At least three mobile homes and two houses were destroyed, and trees and power lines were leveled.

A tornado touched down about 10 miles west of Crossville, Tenn., damaging trees, buildings and peeling off the roof of an unoccupied trailer, authorities said. No injuries were reported there.

Authorities said they expected emergency crews would find more damaged homes and buildings on Friday.

In Plainfield, Ill., a small tornado tore off parts of a nursing home's roof, flipped over a minivan and damaged several homes but no injuries were reported, authorities said.

A LaPorte County sheriff's department patrol car was tossed over a fence, said Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer.

``I don't think I would have believed it unless I'd seen it,'' he said.

In rural Brown County in southwest Ohio, Donna Young's front porch was blown about 50 feet from her house, she said.

``It was a nice, railed, country covered porch,'' she said. The storm ``came from the south and just picked the porch to take out.''