BROOKVILLE — A swarm of tornadoes so tightly packed that one may have crossed the path carved by another tore across Indiana and Ohio overnight, smashing homes, blowing out windows and ending the school year early for some students because of damage to buildings. One person was killed and at least 130 were injured.
The storms were among 55 twisters that forecasters said may have touched down Monday across eight states stretching eastward from Idaho and Colorado.
Tuesday offered no respite, as a large and dangerous tornado touched down on the western edge of Kansas City, Kansas, late in the day, the National Weather Service office reported. A powerful twister also touched down in the nearby township of Pleasant Grove, Kansas, seriously damaging homes. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the US, with no immediate end to the pattern in sight.
The winds peeled away roofs — leaving homes looking like giant dollhouses — knocked houses off their foundations, toppled trees, brought down power lines and churned up so much debris that it was visible on radar. Highway crews had to use snowplows to clear an Ohio interstate.
Some of the heaviest damage was reported just outside Dayton, Ohio.
“I just got down on all fours and covered my head with my hands,” said Francis Dutmers, who with his wife headed for the basement of their home in Vandalia, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) outside Dayton, when the storm hit with a “very loud roar” Monday night. The winds blew out windows around his house, filled rooms with debris and took down most of his trees.