HANCOCK COUNTY — When Avery Dennison employees arrived to work Thursday morning, they were greeted by a gaping hole in the side of their building.
Wind gusts reaching 60 miles per hour ripped siding off the southwest corner of the building on Anderson Boulevard in Greenfield, exposing the plant’s interior, during storms that tore through Hancock County around 3 a.m.
Thankfully, no employees who were working at the Greenfield plant, which manufactures labels, at the time were injured when the storm hit, said plant manager Stephen Borse.
But the full extent of the storm’s damage still was being assessed Thursday afternoon, he said.
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Locally, Avery Dennison might have seen the worst of thunderstorms that ripped through central Indiana on Thursday, carrying wind speeds of up to 60 mph. No injuries were reported.
Areas near Lafayette and Kokomo received the brunt of the storm damage in Indiana, National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Ryan said; there, winds reached speeds of 100 mph.
Straight-line winds can cause as much damage as an EF 1 tornado at that speed, Ryan said, but no winds that severe were recorded in Hancock County.
Residents began reporting mild storm damage and power outages around 3:30 a.m., officials said.
The strongest wind gusts recorded in Hancock County hit near the Indianapolis Regional Airport on Mt. Comfort Road, Ryan said.
Early Thursday afternoon, nearly 1,400 customers were without electricity in Hancock County.
Duke Energy reported more than 1,300 customers with no power — sporadic outages were expected to last until 11:45 p.m., officials reported.
Greenfield Power and Light reported one outage on North Blue Road affected about 25 homes. NineStar Connect reported 36 customers without power.
Brittany Reeves-Hulen and her daughter, Paige, woke up about 3:15 a.m. to the sound of tree limbs slamming into the back of their house in the Indigo Springs housing addition on the south side of Greenfield.
When Reeves-Hulen ventured out to the backyard Thursday morning, limbs littered the yard. A sapling sustained some damage, but their trampoline survived unscathed, she said.
The Greenfield Police Department received reports of damage, trees and limbs down across the city, including in Brandywine Park, said Greenfield Police Department Chief John Jester. Riley Park, which is prone to flooding, had a few inches of standing water.
Thursday afternoon, several traffic signals along west U.S. 40 were out, as well as with the traffic signal at New Road and State Road 9.
The wind ripped off one of the stoplights from the traffic controls at New Road and State Road 9, Jester said. The device landed in the parking lot of Greenfield Banking Co. at the southwest corner of the intersection, he said.
Repairs to the traffic signal intersection lasted into Thursday afternoon.