Volunteer with Tornado Cleanup Efforts at Indiana’s McCormick’s Creek State Park
Cleanup efforts are underway at Indiana's McCormick's Creek State Park after an EF-3 tornado tore through the park.
22 Tornadoes Confirmed in Indiana
On Friday, March 31, 2023, severe weather tore through several states in the Midwest and South spawning dozens of tornadoes. Weather.com, says at least 33 people were killed as a result of these storms. In Indiana alone, there were reportedly 22 tornadoes confirmed, according to WISHTV.com.
EF-3 Tornado Touched Down in McCormick's Creek State Park
One of those tornadoes, measured at an EF-3 rating, which means that the tornado had winds sustained between 136 - 165 miles per hour, touched down in McCormick's Creek State Park. The National Weather Service explains the EF or Enhanced Fujita Scale,
The Enhanced Fujita Scale or EF Scale, which became operational on February 1, 2007, is used to assign a tornado a 'rating' based on estimated wind speeds and related damage. When tornado-related damage is surveyed, it is compared to a list of Damage Indicators (DIs) and Degrees of Damage (DoD) which help estimate better the range of wind speeds the tornado likely produced. From that, a rating (from EF0 to EF5) is assigned.
McCormick's Creek State Park Tornado Had a Max Width of 1200 Feet
The Indystar reports that the EF-3 tornado started in McCormick's Creek State Park had a maximum width of 1200 feet and traveled just over 4 miles. Two people were killed and two more were injured. The Indystar says,
While here, many hardwood trees were snapped and some debarking was observed. In this area, a few homes were badly damaged or destroyed. The tornado then continued producing additional roof and tree damage for another mile.
Many Trails & The Campgrounds are Closed
The state park sustained a significant amount of damage. Aerial footage was recently released of the tornado's aftermath in the park. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has said in a statement on its Facebook page that McCormick's Creek State Park will open for limited use on Friday, April 7, 2023. However, the agency advises that many of the trails are still closed, as are the campgrounds. According to that Facebook post,
Many trails remain closed and the campground is closed through October 1. Individuals with campground reservations are being contacted directly and given full refunds. No new McCormick’s Creek SP camping reservations will be accepted for arrival dates through the end of 2023.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is currently seeking volunteers to help with the cleanup efforts inside the park. According to its website,
First priorities are to safely clear roads and create space to manage debris, to work with campers whose vehicles and RVs were damaged, and to assess, clear, and reopen park facilities and trails where possible.
If you would like to volunteer to aid in the cleanup efforts, you can access the sign-up form here at IN.gov.