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2012-3-2 Henryville EF4 Tornado

Today marks one year since a violent tornado tore across the Ohio River valley region, wreaking EF4 damage in Henryville, IN, and killing eleven people there and in New Borden, where an entire family of five lost their lives. My friend and long-time chase partner Bill Oosterbaan and I had no inkling of the tragedy this tornado would cause several miles northeast of where we intercepted it during its formation and intensification near Palmyra. We just knew we had witnessed the birth of a beast. It was a fantastic, high-adrenaline chase, and Bill and I both got some great video to show for it. Here's my retrospective: http://bit.ly/HenryEF4.

Chad Rust

I was farther west and wasn't able to catch up to that first cell when it produced without putting myself in the direct path of the 2nd cell on it's heels. I did catch a couple of nice wall cloud shots of the first cell.

It's great to hear that I'm not the only one with more asphalt pictures than that of the storm.

I had actually stopped in Henryville for over an hour to plot my next move on my way down. I spent some time parked at the Shell station on the south side of the highway not far from the expressway. Then took a casual drive through town to kill time, passing by the school and other buildings that were unknowingly going to be very severly damaged within the next couple of hours. Coming back into town I decided to stop at the other gas station just a few hundred feet from the shell station on the north side of the road. I almost bought a sandwich at the Subway within. I believe I did pick up some breath mints I was about out of. Coming back from Palmyra, 146.52 lit up with those chatting about the damage in Henryville. I was on the road immediately after stopping in Palmyra to make it to Peoria, IL in time to meet up with a friend I hadn't seen in quite some time. Even west of Indianapolis many on 652 were still talking about the reports coming out of Henryville. It wasn't until I had stopped for the night in Peoria that I really understood the extent of the damage there.

In the coming days Louisville had posted some aerial photos where I could see the Shell station intact and the other station across the road with the majority of the walls down and a 53' trailer flipped up side down across what would have been the rear wall of the building.

Here's one of those images, this one with both gas stations visible.

I don't chase outside of my immediate local vicinity too often and after seeing those aerial photos it gave me an extra sense of realism when it comes to these events. I doubt I'll have the same feelings as I did in the days after this outbreak anytime soon.