Friday, November 28, 2014


A man walks through a damaged home in Gifford, Ill. on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. Intense thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the Midwest, causing extensive damage in several central Illinois communities while sending people to their basements for shelter. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Robin Scholz) (AP)
Storms cause injuries, deaths in Midwest; Kokomo declares state of emergency

Posted on Nov. 17, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 17, 2013 at 6:25 p.m.

At least four people are reported injured in Indiana from the severe thunderstorms that swept across Indiana and other parts of the Midwest Sunday. At least six people died in Illinois.

Kokomo city development specialist David Tharp says there's multiple minor injuries there. He did not know how many. The city has declared a state of emergency and Kokomo Police asked residents to stay home and off the streets.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said the storm is the worst he's seen in 48 years living there.

Goodnight said Sunday night he's grateful no deaths have been reported. He says crews planned to continue work through the night clearing debris and restoring power to residents.

The city police department sent photos of buildings with roofs torn off, a destroyed bank branch and other updates on its Twitter account Sunday. City officials also took to Twitter to tell residents to clear the way for first responders.

Grant County Emergency Management Director Bruce Bender says one person was injured when two or three mobile homes rolled over at the Summit Village Trailer Park. Bender says four homes have been damaged, including two extensively between Marion and the town of Sweetser.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley says a teacher was injured when a storm heavily damaged Southwestern Middle and Grade School in southern Tippecanoe County.

The damage follows a day of severe storms throughout Indiana and the Midwest. The National Weather Service reported tornado touchdowns around the state, and other areas of central Indiana sustained major damage.

Gov. Mike Pence said 12 counties reported either tornadoes or damage after the initial line of storms had traveled midway across Indiana. He will be visiting Kokomo on Monday.

Pence told The Associated Press he plans to visit the hardest-hit communities of Kokomo, Lafayette and Washington on Monday. All three suffered significant property damage, and several injuries were reported in Kokomo.

Pence says it's too soon to say whether the state will seek disaster assistance.

The governor praised the work of emergency responders, community leaders and residents who heeded warnings throughout the fast-moving storms.

Pence says he's grateful no one died in Indiana and that his heart goes out to storm victims in Illinois.