SULLIVAN COUNTY, IN – Sullivan County and the city of Sullivan were hit by a destructive tornado late Friday evening, resulting in a line of damage that covers several miles, starting west of Sullivan in the rural New Lebanon area, extending eastward through Sullivan.
Homes in both the city and county are severely damaged, and some are completely leveled.
According to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department, members of the community have lost their lives, and the worst fears of the residents have become a reality. Emergency responders and utility workers are still searching for residents and making the scene safe, and the area is still very dangerous.
Curiosity seekers are subject to arrest, and nonessential people are ordered to stay clear of the damaged areas. The Sullivan City Hall and area churches have been opened up as safe shelters.
A state of emergency has been declared for the affected areas to allow emergency responders and utility workers to do their jobs safely. Multiple powerlines are down, and there are multiple gas leaks that should be considered live.
The tornado that hit Sullivan County is part of a larger storm system that produced over 30 tornadoes across multiple states. Many towns were hit, including Robinson, Illinois; Oaktown, Indiana; Evansville, Indiana; and Palestine, Illinois. Multiple buildings and homes were destroyed, and fatalities have been reported.
The Sullivan VFW along with a local Liquor store took what seems to be a direct hit from the tornado, and the helicopter from the VFW was thrown several feet North. Multiple houses were destroyed along the path as well.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department has requested that those offering legitimate services of assistant should report to the EMA headquarters at 60 W. Harris Street in Sullivan, Indiana.
The Sullivan County community is in a state of shock and grief, and they are asking for prayers for the families affected and the emergency responders and utility workers who are still searching for residents and making the scene safe.
We will provide further updates as reliable information becomes available.