Severe weather lays siege on Louisville Metro, southern Indiana

High winds, intense rain and even tornadoes wreak havoc over the Louisville Metro and Southern Indiana.
Published: May. 7, 2023 at 11:40 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Two tornadoes touched down in Southern Indiana Sunday and many across the area saw strong winds, soaking rain and even hail.

Parts of Louisville saw high winds lay siege in different neighborhoods and Indiana University Southeast is cleaning up after a tornado wreaked havoc on the surrounding area.

The severe weather disrupted a lot of people’s Sunday morning and left visuals a lot of folks say they will always remember.

The damage can happen in just seconds.

High winds combined with intense rain ripped trees from the ground, and even closed off neighborhoods.

For a couple kids in Tyler Park, they say their life flashed before their eyes.

“When it went down I almost fainted,” brothers Henry and Treyson Walker Payne said. “I literally almost had a heart attack because at first I thought the tree was about to land on our house because it sounded so close to our house.”

While the Metro just saw high winds and rain, across the river in Floyd County the National Weather Service reported 2 EF-1 tornadoes.

One of them was recorded near Indiana University’s Southeast Campus.

New Albany Fire Department Battalion Chief David Sparks was first on scene and said when he arrived there was chaos.

“I got here and it just looked like a bomb had just went off in the area,” Sparks said. “Trees all over the place, utility poles snapped over and wires down all over the place.”

Sparks said the funnel started right over IUS’ campus, crossed Grant Line Road into the Carriage House apartments and neighboring streets as it damaged homes and caused gas leaks.

“There were several buildings that were damaged. People yelling and screaming running around trying to get help,” Sparks explained. “Then we had one family with their roof blown off and they were telling me that they had not seen the occupants of that and so we were trying to get in to do a search of that building quickly.”

Sparks said three people suffered minor injuries but no one was sent to the hospital.

Duke Energy line workers and crews at IUS were working overtime as about 4,000 people are expected on campus for a Commencement Ceremony Monday.

“Fortunately our commencement area was not impacted so all of the chairs were out the staging was set and we’re ready to go for tomorrow’s ceremony,” IUS’ Director of Communications and Marketing Nancy Trafton said.

Tafton said she’s thankful that no one on campus was hurt and is proud to know she’s in a community that wraps their arms around each other when tragedy strikes.

“Oh it takes an army and one thing that I’ve learned living in the Kentucky-Indiana region for the last 10-11 years is that this is a family and people come out for other and that has been obvious throughout the day today,” Tafton said.

Battalion Chief Sparks said in his 40 years living in New Albany he has never made a tornado run and he said he will never forget it.

Duke Energy said they hope to restore power to all impacted by midnight Sunday evening.