In Aftermath of Tornadoes, Rescue Work Continues in Southern Indiana

by Erica Peterson on March 3, 2012

Work is continuing in southern Indiana to find victims of the tornadoes that swept through the region last night. There was damage in Clark, Washington and Scott counties, and some towns–like Henryville and Marysville in Clark County–were nearly completely destroyed.

The Associated Press is reporting that a baby girl was found in a field 10 miles from her home last night.

“A spokeswoman for the hospital in Salem, Indiana, where the girl was first taken said Saturday that authorities were still trying to figure out how she ended up in the field alone. St. Vincent Salem Hospital spokeswoman Melissa Richardson says the child’s family is from New Pekin, Indiana, about 10 miles south of where the child was found.”

The girl or her family’s name wasn’t released, but she’s reported as being in critical condition at Kosair Children’s Hospital.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels toured the area this morning, and spoke to reporters outside the remains of Henryville’s combined elementary, junior and senior high school. Daniels said he didn’t want to hamper rescue missions, so he waited until this morning. His office released a statement last night:

“Once again Mother Nature has dealt harshly with Indiana. Our every thought is with those we’ve lost and those who have suffered. We’ve learned so much and improved so much in disaster preparedness, warning systems and responder communications but still we are no match for Mother Nature at her worst. We’re hopeful that we know the full extent of the damage but it will be tomorrow before we can give a final report with any confidence.”

Part of the reason it’s taken emergency workers so long to survey the damage and check for survivors is the large area affected and the rural nature of the area. Last night in Henryville, Sgt. Jerry Goodin with the Indiana State Police said his officers were going house to house, down hundreds of miles of rural roads to look for survivors. When they moved on, they mark each house with an “X.”

“The worst case scenario happened for us. We had multiple tornadoes, and it happened all of a sudden,” he says. “We knew there was a possibility that something like this would happen, and we were trying to prepare. There’s no way you can prepare for something like this happening.”

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