FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — On March 2, 2012, an EF-4 tornado tore through parts of southern Indiana and northern Kentucky.
The tornado began just south of Fredericksburg in Washington County, Indiana at 2:50 p.m. EST.
From there, it ripped through the towns of New Perkin, Henryville, Marysville and Chelsea killing at least 11 people.
The EF-4 tornado was on the ground for 49 miles, and it dissipated 4 miles north northwest of Bedford in Trimble County, Kentucky, at 3:39 p.m. EST.
Remembering the Henryville Indiana violent EF-4 tornado that occurred on this day 9 years ago. A very dark day in Indiana weather history. pic.twitter.com/0uTtJ1KUdU
— @jtinneywx (@jtinneywx) March 2, 2021
According to NWS Louisville, it was the region's strongest tornado since May 28, 1996.
It was also the deadliest tornado since April 3, 1974.
5 years ago, I stood helplessly on I-65 & watched a tornado hit Henryville, IN. I'll never forget the people of Henryville I met that day. pic.twitter.com/D9oTfP7Ifs
— Bryan Wood (@bryanwx) March 2, 2017
Henryville was one of the hardest hit communities.
I-65, which goes through the town, was damaged and it was closed for several hours.
Numerous homes were damaged and showed evidence that the tornado had multiple vortexes.
A vortex is compact flow of air that circulates around an axis.
The town's middle and high schools were damaged.
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) July 28, 2017
The middle school's cafeteria was completely destroyed.
There's a detailed storm damage report, listing all the damage in the counties affected by this twister.
You can find more here.
The storm that produced the tornado was from a strong low-pressure system that moved through the Ohio River Valley that day.
High temperatures were in the low 80s with plenty of humidity.
In addition to the warm temperatures and humidity, there was very strong wind shear in the atmosphere.
Wind shear is the change of wind direction and speed with height.
When you added those severe weather ingredients together, it helps fuel strong thunderstorms with the potential for strong tornadoes to develop.
You can read more about the March 2 severe weather event here.