CHICAGO (CBS) — The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado briefly passed through the outskirts of Lowell, Indiana Thursday, as a wave of powerful, fast-moving storms swept through Chicagoland.
The short-lived tornado, classified as an EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, lasted two to three minutes and had peak winds of 80 to 85 miles per hour.
It was the first tornado in Lake County, Indiana since June 30, 2014 and the county’s earliest tornado in the calendar year since March 12, 1976.
The damage includes downed power lines and 30- to 40-foot tall pine trees. The portion of the roof at the First of the Nazerene was completely torn away. A fence and the church garage were heavily damaged.
“My mind was trying to process what I was looking at,” said Pastor David Brock. “It was pretty shocking to come home to. It’s pretty devastating.”
Jared Brock was at their home, which began to shake violently.
“The entire house started to shake and I started to panic a little bit,” he said. “I could hear things rattling. It was really weird.”
A tree fell on another home nearby, crushing the roof. “I don’t even know where that tree came from,” said the homeowner Madonna Snyder.
“The trees are down, the power lines are down. From what I heard, there was golf-ball sized hail. My nephew’s truck almost overturned at he was driving past. He said it looked like a tornado.”
About a mile away, fencing was damaged at another home, and deck furniture was tossed about the yard. A shed was lifted off its foundation and the pool was damaged.
According to a National Weather Service storm report, a funnel cloud was reported south of downtown.
Matt Magiera posted this image of a possible funnel cloud in the area.
A resident took this picture of trees fallen on Calhoun Road, just north of Belshaw.
The damage path appears to be about 75 yards wide and about 1.5 miles long, according to the NWS storm report.