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This tornado was a part of the Indiana tornado outbreaks of August 8-9, 2017

2017 Greenstown-Hartford City tornado
EF5 tornado
Plains Kansas tornado

the Tornado at peak intensity near the Shamrock Lakes subdivision
Date August 9, 2017
Times 0614 UTC-0741 UTC
Touchdown location near Kokomo, Indiana
Injuries 9,557
Fatalities 72
Damage $500 million (2017 USD)
Areas affected Greenstown; Fairmount; Matthews; Hartford City
Part of the
Tornadoes of 2017
the 2017 Greenstown-Hartford City tornado was the last of 3 EF5 tornadoes during the early morning hours of August 9th tornado outbreak, this tornado is still known as the Ohio Valley's most powerful tornado with winds almost as strong as the 1999 Moore, OK F5 tornado...

Meteorological synopsis

Around 2:00AM EDT a small supercell formed in western Howard County as one of the 17 supercells rolling through Central Indiana at the time...around 2:12AM EDT a tornado warning was issued for central Howard County, which was only a 2 minute lead time to the touchdown...the tornado touched down about 4 miles northwest of Greentown at 2:14AM; the tornado was a EF3 by 2:20AM yet was still only radar indicated...the tornado became a wedge at 2:23AM and was a EF4 at the time over Greentown, the tornado became a EF5 at 2:30AM...but the tornado was stationary between 2:57AM and 3:24AM...however the tornado started moving again and directly struck Matthews, Indiana at 3:30AM...the tornado directly hit Hartford City at 3:37AM as a 300MPH EF5 destroying everything in sight, however the supercell got absorbed by another supercell as 3:41AM.

EF6?

The tornado was disputed for EF6, but the National Weather Service did not want to do a redesign of the Enhanced Fujita Scale just to rate this tornado EF6.

State of emergency

The next day or August 10th the entire state was put under a Civil Emergency Message (CEM) due to the hazardous debris covering roadways. Blackford County in specific was put under a State of emergency.

Aftermath

In the end, the NWS in Northern Indiana announced the death toll was 72, of which 56 of those deaths occurred in Hartford City.

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