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National Briefing / Midwest

Powerful winds hit two states

March 09, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Strong winds from severe thunderstorms raked Indiana and Illinois, tossing a school bus onto a building, destroying and damaging homes, cutting off power to thousands of customers and injuring two people.

Indiana emergency management agencies reported a tornado in Lawrence County, said John Erickson, a spokesman for the state Department of Homeland Security. The National Weather Service has not confirmed the reports.

Footage from WTHR-TV in Indianapolis showed a school bus lying atop a flattened building in Fayetteville, about 70 miles south of Indianapolis, where the tornado was reported.

Lawrence County Sheriff Sam Craig said at least 19 houses had been damaged, including three that were leveled.

At least seven houses were destroyed near Springfield, Ill., and 30 more severely damaged, a fire official said.

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