After an Indiana tornado strike hit the Midwest, locals are picking up the pieces. They woke up this morning to see the devastation, which destroyed many buildings and even one Starbucks.
The Starbucks collapsed in front of the staff who were trapped inside. Luckily no one was hurt. So far 12 injuries have been reported and no fatalities. Local Councilman Bob Cameron told Reuters that the people in the Starbucks wisely all took refuge in the bathroom, saying, “They all got in there. That was a smart move.”
If you have ever seen a movie like Twister, then you know how dangerous and frightening tornados can be. It brings images to mind of people hiding in basements and running for cover.
And if you have ever lived, even for just a short while, somewhere in the Midwestern United States like in Indiana, then you have probably experienced a tornado first hand. Indiana is one of the states that seems to get hit the most.
Now imagine finding yourself right in the middle of a tornado strike. And think of how you would feel if you saw one coming right at you as you were enjoying a cup of hot coffee in your favorite coffee shop on a cold and rainy day.
Reuters has also reported that the Salvation Army of Indiana is giving aid to at least 200 people who needed food and shelter.
This is just part of what an Indiana tornado strike causes in damages as well as pain and suffering. More than 39,000 people across the State of Indiana were also reported to have been left without any power, 25,000 of them in Howard County alone.
The city of Kokomo and Howard County Indiana seemed to bare some of the worst of the Indiana Tornado strike, where a state of emergency was declared. Kokomo Indiana Mayor Greg Goodnight assessed the damage done to his town at a press conference which was held Wednesday night.
Kokomo and Howard County Indiana issued a joint statement last night tweeting that people should, “Please avoid any areas affected by the tornadoes – do not drive to look at damage – allow emergency crews to do their work.” People were warned not to drive until at least 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night. This is exactly the right course of action to take following an Indiana tornado strike.
At about 6 p.m. Wednesday evening the city tweeted to the public the following statement of caution:
“All roads in the City of Kokomo and Howard County are hereby closed to every person and motor vehicle except for emergency vehicles performing the essential functions of government and public health and safety.”
According to a report on The Weather Channel, at least 35 tornados were reported on Wednesday night.
An exact number of tornados to hit ground in Indiana has not yet been assessed, and the 35 reports could include multiple sightings of the same tornado. The National Weather Service did confirm that at least one very large tornado was spotted by the Indiana State capital of Indianapolis. Kokomo was hit at 3:24 p.m Wednesday by an Indiana tornado going more than 30 miles per hour.
The entire area of Indiana and some neighboring states were covered by severe thunderstorms since yesterday afternoon, in addition to the tornados.
Mitchell Carlson, a maintenance technician at the Park Place Apartments in Kokomo, told Fox News that out of the 16 buildings in the complex only eight still had their roofs left intact after the tornado strike. He also said that as many as 30 vehicles were destroyed there.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence also happens to be Donald Trump’s current running mate. The vice presidential candidate issued a statement promising to tour the areas affected by the Indiana Tornado on Thursday. He’d already returned to the state before the tornados hit. Governor Pence had been campaigning in the state of North Carolina.
The governor was quick to tweet a number of pictures showing him working with leaders at his state’s Department of Homeland security.
Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson called on people to stay at home, saying, “We’re just asking people to sit tight, especially if there’s a tornado warning in their area, so they can stay as safe as possible.”
Howard County Indiana Commissioner Paul Wyman promised his people that their county will persevere and overcome this disaster. He told the press that, “Kokomo and Howard County will bounce back once again, and once again we’ve got to reach in deep and do the work of recovery.”
As of now things have settled down in the affected areas of Indiana. People are working on the cleanup and getting back to their daily routines. This Indiana tornado strike seems over for now.
[Photo by Bruce Robinson for AP]