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Death, destruction in 2 states blamed on single tornado

Storm tore through 49 miles, Weather Service says


FEMA officials inspect tornado damage in Moscow, Ohio, which was mostly destroyed. Gov. John Kasich activated two disaster-relief programs Tuesday to aid Clermont County communities.

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HENRYVILLE, Ind. -- A single, multivortex tornado plowed through 49 miles of southern Indiana and northern Kentucky, killing 10 people along its path through the hard-hit Indiana communities of New Pekin, Henryville, Marysville, and Chelsea before it finally ended near Bedford, Ky., the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

The weather service studied the damage and published a narrative of last week's storm on its Web site.

"This was a bad one," said John Gordon, chief meteorologist for the weather service in Louisville. "We have not had an F-4 or greater across southern Indiana since 1974."

The tornado from a supercell touched down near Fredericksburg, Ind., about 30 miles northwest of Louisville and finally ended 49 minutes later north of Bedford, about 35 miles northeast of Louisville. It at times packed winds of 175 mph and was nearly a half mile wide, the weather service said.

It killed a family of five in a mobile home in the New Pekin area, a man in his home west of Henryville, and four other people in two homes south of Chelsea.

The tornado began at 2:50 p.m. Friday, touching down with winds estimated at 90 mph on the south side of Fredericksburg.

It reached EF2 status with winds of 130 mph within minutes and uprooted trees and downed power lines.

It soon strengthened to an EF4, with winds estimated at 170 mph, fatally injuring five members of a single family, including a 15-month-old girl dropped in a farm field.

The tornado crossed into northwest Clark County and demolished a one-story brick house at the top of a small ridge. "People on site reported that cows were missing … They also stated that the tornado looked like a black wall as it approached," the narrative said.

A separate tornado touched down in southwest Ohio Friday, killing 3 people and damaging almost 300 homes, businesses, and government buildings.

Gov. John Kasich says he has activated a pair of disaster relief programs to help Clermont County communities.

One provides payments that eligible low-income residents can use on immediate expenses. The governor's office said that could mean as much as $1,500 for a family of four with an income up to 200 percent of the poverty level, or about $46,000.

Another program allows governments with disaster response costs that exceed 0.5 percent of their annual budgets to get three-fourths of the costs covered.

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