Tornado Hit Chesterton: Weather Service

By Steve Bryant
|  Thursday, Aug 20, 2009  |  Updated 9:46 PM CDT
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125 mph Tornado Hit Chesterton

AP

Chandrajo Ushman, 5, sits inside her father Michael Ushman Jr.'s truck after a tornado destroyed her home in Loami, Ill., Wednesday, Aug. 19. A fast-moving storm has led to at least two possible tornadoes, as strong winds left thousands of electric utility customers across central Illinois without power.

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A tornado struck Chesterton yesterday, the National Weather Service confirmed this evening.

Meteorologists measured the width of the tornado at 60 yards, and 2.5 miles in length, with peak winds at 125 miles per hour.

The touch down time was estimated at 7:32 p.m.

The tornado damaged dozens of buildings, including Chesterton Middle School and an apartment complex on Brown Street, according to reporters at the scene.

Residents were shocked at the incredible amount of damage.

“The apartment complex over at Third and Brown you may have seen that, that’s catastrophic over there,” said Chesterton Town Manager Bernard Doyle to WNDU. “I’m really surprised we didn’t have any injuries there.”

The entire roof of the six unit apartment complex on Brown Street was removed, along with six roof mounted air conditioners. “I had an air conditioner about 400-pounds hit the top of my garage roof and then fall right in front of my front door,” said Jim Maranto who lives across the street from the apartment building.

School was canceled Thursday and people were without power, according to the South Bend Tribune.

The strong winds also ripped part of the roof off of the middle school, while winds ripped the roofs from several homes and toppled trees.

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