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[IDHS] State of Indiana Response to Tornado Activity in Southeastern Indiana
Start Date: 3/2/2012
End Date: 3/2/2012
Entry Description

State of Indiana Response to Tornado Activity in Southeastern Indiana


Early reports indicate the heaviest damage is concentrated in southeastern Indiana including substantial damage in Henryville in Clark County, Marysville in Clark County, and Pekin and New Pekin in Washington County.

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

Power Outages: Widespread power outages have been reported across southern Indiana

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

Four Shelters in the affected area are open at this time:

Charlestown High School,
1 Pirate Place Charlestown, IN 47111

South Ripley Elementary School
1568 South Benham Road Versailles, IN

 Lide White Boys and Girls Club
1551 M.S.H Northgate Road Madison IN

American Legion
209 S. Main St. Salem, IN


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

There are 13 confirmed fatalities

Jefferson County, 4 
Scott County, 3
Ripley County, 2
Washington County, 4

Road Closures

I-65 south of mile marker 19 is open but moving very slowly.

US 31 between U.S. 50 and U.S. 104 is only open to emergency personnel. It is closed to the public.

For information on road closures, visit the Indiana Travel Conditions site, which can be found at or by calling (800) 261-ROAD (7623)


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 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 Police
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
Integrated Public Safety Commission

Other organizations supporting activities in the State EOC include:

Indiana Task Force 1
American Red Cross

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.

Approximately 250 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

At least fifteen Indiana Conservation Officers with several Four-Wheel-Drive and All-Terrain Vehicles and 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 is assembling a saw crew to deploy to southern Indiana tomorrow 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.

Eighty-four individuals with Indiana Task Force One, a state emergency response team comprised of Hoosier first responders, is deploying to southern Indiana to assist with search and rescue efforts.

District Response Task Forces

Fifty-five individuals with the IDHS District 4 Response Task Force are deploying to New Pekin.

IDHS District 5 Incident Management Team (7 persons) is also deploying 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 is deploying 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.


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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