UPDATE, 8:50AM CST SUN: Indiana Homeland Security confirms 15 fatalities in southern Indiana. The twister is believed to have started in Union Township, moving across Ellis Park to Eastbrook Mobile Home park. There's a state of emergency declared in Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties.
UPDATE, 8:40AM CST SUN: Witnesses tell Newswatch reporter Emily Sinovic that three are dead in Degonia Springs in eastern Warrick County, one was a pregnant woman. And the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Department confirms five deaths in the Eastbrook Mobile Home park.
UPDATE, 8:20AM CST SUN: A state of emergency has now been declared for Vanderburgh County. Warrick is also under a state of emergency.
UPDATE, 8AM CST SUN: The Eastbrook Mobile Homes area is being evacuated, including the undamaged homes. Warrick County is under a state of emergency.
We now have first reports of damage from Degonia Springs. Newswatch's Emily Sinovic says there are many homes destroyed in that area of Warrick County as well.
Here are the emergency phone numbers to try to contact family members:
Red Cross: 812-471-7200
Deaconess Hospital: 812-450-7200
St. Mary's Medical Center: 812-485-4606
UPDATE, 7:30AM CST SUN: Warrick County coroner Don Harris reports to the Associated Press that they have confirmed three fatalities, two in Degonia Springs and one near the village of Yankeetown.
Brandi Crawley lives in Eastbrook Trailer Park. She tells Newswatch that she was return from the storm when the twister hit. She says she met a vehicle carrying her mother, her children, and her childrens' father coming out of the park. "I saw it pick the car up and throw it into the trees." Crawley says no one suffered serious injuries.
UPDATE, 6:30AM CST SUN: We are now seeing the first images of the damage in the Eastbrook Trailer Park. Some homes are destroyed, while others are untouched. We are getting additional damage reports. The tornado apparently first hit in Union Township of Vanderburgh County, then moved northeast through Ellis Park, the Eastbrook Trailer and into Newburgh in Warrick County. The storm first hit in Union Township about 1:45am CST.
We are also getting preliminary reports of damage in Degonia Springs in eastern Warrick County.
UPDATE, 6:20AM CST SUN: People trying to find loved ones who are missing can call the Red Cross at 812-471-7200.
Deaconess Hospital spokesman Sam Rogers tells Newswatch that people can also call 812-450-7200 to see if a missing person is being trated at Deaconess. He says they have seen about 25 patients in their emergency room so far.
Rogers says they have launched their disaster plan and have their facility full staffed to handle additional patients.
St. Mary's Medical Center spokesman Jeff Jones tells Newswatch that they have treated 105 pataients, most with minor injuries. However, there have also been a number of more serious injuries. Jones says patients are still coming to the hospital at this time.
Storm Team chief meteorologist Jeff Lyons says the worst tornado in southwest Indiana to date was the Petersburgh tornado with eight deaths.
UPDATE, 5AM: The Associated Press is reporting that Vanderburgh County chief deputy Eric Williams estimates dozens of injured at the Eastbrook Trailer Park.
UPDATE, 4:45AM CST SUN: We have reports from more damage in the 4200 block of State Road 261. Residents Paul Adams and Tyler Moss were in their apartment when the storm hit.
Adams says, "I was sleeping, all of a sudden, it was like it was thundering and lightning in our apartment. Then the whole building shook, our window broke, and there was water pouring in."
Moss says, "It sounded like there was a jet engine in our apartment."
UPDATE, 4:05AM CST SUN: Vectren spokesman Mike Roeder tells Newswatch that at least 25,000 customers have lost power. He says they'll have to wait until daylight to fully assess damage.
U.S. Highway 41 has re-opened at Ellis Park.
Newswatch reporter Kim Dacey is on the scene. Kim reports that people are still trapped in their homes, particularly in the Eastbrook Trailer Park area.
We have reports from Newburgh Health Care Center that all the residents are OK, and the facility is operating on generator power.
UPDATE, 4AM CST SUN: Zion Church on First Street in Newburgh is open for anyone needing shelter.UPDATE, 3:45AM CST SUN: Storm Team spotter Shawn Weber is also an emergency worker in Warrick County. He tells Newswatch there are many roads blocked, many buildings damaged or destroyed. He says the worst area appears to be from Angel Mounds to the Highway 66/261 area.
At Ellis Park, Newswatch photojournalist Dave Novak reports significant damage. Law enforcement officers are also in the area trying to find horses that have gotten loose because of storm damage.
UPDATE, 3:05AM SUN: A triage center is being set up in the area near Angel Mounds. Authorities are trying to get METS buses to the area to evacuate residents.
UPDATE, 3AM SUN: Storm Team meteorologist Byron Douglas reports significant storm damage in the Highway 662 area of Newburgh. Near Epworth Road, there are confirmed injuries. Byron says the damage looks very similar to damage he's seen in previous tornadoes in the F-2 and F-3 range.
Roofs are torn off houses. Byron says a woman at one residence is reporting a broken leg.
The National Weather Service has not confirmed any tornadoes yet, although there were a number of radar indicated tornado warnings.
UPDATE, 2:45AM SUN: Ambulances have been dispatched to the Eastbrooke Trailer Park. Damage reports in Newburgh include a car crashed into a house.
UPDATE, 2:15AM SUN: Storm Team spotters report at least minor wind damage in Newburgh. U.S. Highway 41 is closed near Ellis Park because of storm damage. There is possible major structural damage to the grandstand at Ellis Park.
UPDATE, 2AM SUN: Strong storms are moving through the Tri-State at this time.
A tornado warning has been issued for Warrick County. There are reports of damage at Ellis Park.
Storm Team chief meteorologist Jeff Lyons says we've had .72 inches of rain at the WFIE station on Evansville's west side. Byron Douglas reports the power is out in Newburgh. A Storm Team spotter reports a possible tornado.
There are additional reports of damage at the Eastbrooke Trailer Park, which is south of I-164 in the Ellis Park area.
EARLIER: A strong cold front will sweep through the Tri-state Saturday night, bringing showers and thunderstorms with it. Some of those storms could be severe.
Near record warm temps and high dew points combined with strong winds at all levels of the atmosphere, will make the air unstable Saturday evening and into the overnight hours.
The main threat for the Tri-state will be strong, damaging winds and large hail. Isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out, but the greatest threat for twisters will be to the west of the area.