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County experiences minor storm damage

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GREENFIELD — Hancock County avoided the brunt of severe storms that ripped across Indiana Sunday afternoon.

Local officials reported minor damage caused by strong winds, including downed trees and power lines. There were no injuries reported, according to the Hancock County Emergency Operations Center.

Gov. Mike Pence said 12 Indiana counties reported either tornadoes or storm damage after the initial line of storms had traveled midway across Indiana.

The storms that hit Indiana on Sunday were part of a wave of severe weather that cut across the Midwest, killing six people in Illinois and two in Michigan.

The National Weather Service said its preliminary findings indicate that at least six EF2 tornadoes packing wind speeds of 111 to 135 mph struck Indiana. They included a 10-mile-long tornado that hit Kokomo, a 75-yard-wide twister in Boone County, a 100-yard-wide tornado in southwestern Indiana and one in Grant County.

Tornadoes were reported in three southern Indiana counties and in Jasper County to the north.

The National Weather Service reported wind speeds in the Hancock County area reaching 75 miles per hour around 4:15 p.m. There was no record of any funnel clouds, a meteorologist said.

Monday, Hoosiers were asked to report any storm damage to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

The form is available on homeland security’s website, in.gov/dhs. Click on “report damage from severe weather” in the middle of the page under “featured topics.”

Those reporting damage will be asked to provide their name, address, phone number and type of damage sustained. Losses can include structural damage to homes and loss of personal property.

The form is not a direct request for financial assistance. The information will be used to help local emergency management agencies and homeland security assess damage to determine if federal assistance can be pursued.

Pence toured several storm-tossed communities as state officials began assessing the damage to determine whether to seek federal disaster aid.

“I haven’t seen such devastation in a long, long time,” Pence said in hard-hit Kokomo, where at least 32 people were injured and about 50 homes were destroyed.

The storms cut power to thousands, tore off roofs, damaged schools and left mountains of debris where homes once stood.

About 30,000 homes and business, mostly in northern and central Indiana, remained without power Monday. Several school districts canceled or delayed classes because of power issues or damage.

Damage ranged from a 110-year-old post office in the historic Indianapolis community of Irvington to grain silos, houses, factories and a coffee shop in places including Lafayette, Lebanon, Washington and Vincennes.

The storm that hit Kokomo was the worst to hit the city since a deadly tornado on Palm Sunday in 1965, the Kokomo Tribune reported.


Information in this story came from Noelle M. Steele of the Daily Reporter staff and The Associated Press.

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