Two people dead after storms flatten parts of McCormick's Creek State Park

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Indiana Department of Natural Resources reported Saturday night that the bodies of two people were found in the McCormick's Creek State Park campground.

DNR reported the victims were Brett Kincaid, 53, and Wendy Kincaid, 47, of Rossville, Indiana.

Emergency management officials were out late Friday and through the day Saturday after a swath of storms, some with suspected tornadoes, tore through Indiana on Friday night and early Saturday.

'I was terrified': Survivors in Owen, Monroe recount living through Friday storm

The campground near Spencer was one of the hardest hit areas. Owen County Sheriff's Department, several Owen County fire departments, Owen County Emergency Services and Indiana Conservation Officers scoured the park two times for potentially injured campers spending the night at various camp sites.

People located in the park on Friday were evacuated with the help of Spencer-Owen County School Corp. buses and ambulances. The people evacuated from the park were shuttled to Canyon Inn.

A severe storm struck McCormick's Creek State Park where people were camping Friday night.
A severe storm struck McCormick's Creek State Park where people were camping Friday night.

Cris Lundsford with Owen County Emergency Management Services said trees had to be cut down to allow access to the campgrounds to remove trees that had fallen over the roadway through the park.

Lundsford said people sleeping in tents and RVs heard the outdoor warning siren on Friday and took shelter in a cement block bathhouse, potentially saving their lives. First responders reported only one person with minor injuries Saturday.

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Second search of McCormick's Creek State Park

More than 20 emergency personnel returned early Saturday to McCormick's Creek State Park to do a more extensive search for people, according to Jack White with Owen County EMS.

"We have a daylight search crew searching the state park that was just devastated," White said Saturday morning, adding he and others didn't feel comfortable not going back after the search on Friday night, done in the dark.

White said much of the campground area was "flattened."

Other areas of Owen County had trees down and many residents lost electricity. White said about half the town of Spencer remained without electricity as of about 9 a.m. Saturday.

Portion of Monroe County damaged by storm as well

Just across the county line in northwest Monroe County, emergency personnel were assessing damage along County Line Road and Wolf Mountain Road on Friday night and Saturday. Justin Baker with Monroe County Emergency Management Agency said a temporary shelter and resource center has been set up in the former Stinesville elementary school. He said five families were displaced.

Sarah Nicholson uses a chainsaw to cut up downed trees as Aaron Combs gathers limbs along N County Line Road E near Stinesville on Saturday, April 1, 2023 after a large storm damaged the area the night before.
Sarah Nicholson uses a chainsaw to cut up downed trees as Aaron Combs gathers limbs along N County Line Road E near Stinesville on Saturday, April 1, 2023 after a large storm damaged the area the night before.

The shelter and resource center will remain open as long as it is needed, White said, adding some of the families may find shelter with friends or family but will still be able to come to the elementary school for food, water or other necessities.

Anyone in Monroe County who had damage due to Friday's storms or information about the storms is asked to call 211 to report it. White said emergency officials will be doing damage assessments in the next few days.

While much of the debris left behind after the storms has been cleared, Baker said personnel will be working hard into next week to clear roads. He stressed people need to be on the lookout for downed trees and power lines, turn around if they find them across the road and then report it.

A destroyed structure along West Wolf Mountain Road near Stinesville on Saturday, April 1, 2023.
A destroyed structure along West Wolf Mountain Road near Stinesville on Saturday, April 1, 2023.

"There are so many trees down and with the winds today, there are more trees that went down today," he said Saturday.

Baker encouraged anyone without power to report it to their electric provider, adding that Duke Energy and South Central Indiana REMC were out working to restore power.

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Lawrence County also reported downed trees after Friday's storms, while Morgan County reported downed trees and power lines, which included loss of power in Martinsville. High winds also caused severe damage to buildings in Martinsville.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: Two die after storms flatten McCormick's Creek State Park