HOWARD COUNTY — The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF3 tornado touched down in Kokomo Wednesday afternoon, with winds up to 165 mph.
Eight tornadoes were confirmed in central Indiana during Wednesday’s storm outbreak, prompting a state of emergency to be declared until 9:00 pm Wednesday night. At least three of those tornadoes touched down. Kokomo Schools canceled classes for Thursday.
The majority of the damage was to property in Howard and Montgomery Counties. Gov. Pence said the storms hit at the worst possible time when factory shifts were changing over and school was getting out. He said it was a testament to first responders, media as well as friends and neighbors that there weren’t serious injuries or any fatalities.
A shelter is open at the Kokomo Event Center at 1500 North Reed Road for Kokomo residents displaced by the storm. Another shelter is open in New Ross at Walnut Elementary School, 3548 S. 775 East. The Red Cross is providing services to displaced residents.
“We are committed to supporting residents in affected areas,” said Chad Priest,Regional CEO for the Indiana Region for the American Red Cross. “We will continue to work together with our Red Cross volunteers and our partner agencies making sure people have their basic needs and know the Red Cross is always there.”
Individuals affected by the storms are encouraged to contact the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross at: 317-684-1441. People affected by the Kokomo tornadoes can visit: redcross.org or the Indiana Red Cross headquarters at: 1510 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.
Late Wednesday night, Duke Energy reported 28,400 homes without power, with the majority in the Kokomo and Tipton areas, 324 in Montgomery County and 160 in Shelby and Monroe Counties. Indianapolis Power and Light reported 3,229 without power, mostly in Washington Township.