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Eight tornadoes confirmed in Indiana

Published: Friday, August 26, 2016 @ 5:59 AM

            Social media photos from Kokomo, Indiana, tornado Aug. 24, 2016
Social media photos from Kokomo, Indiana, tornado Aug. 24, 2016

UPDATE @ 8;30 p.m. (Aug. 25):

Multiple thunderstorms produced eight tornadoes on Wednesday, including five in central Indiana across Carroll, Howard, Marion and Montgomery counties, according to a report released this evening from the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.

None of the tornadoes caused any deaths, and only the strongest storm, an EF-3 that hit Kokomo, Indiana, caused any injuries, of which 20 were reported. The NWS released preliminary data on the five tornadoes:

  • Crawfordsville (Montgomery County): EF-2 at 2:28 p.m. with wind speeds up to 120 mph. The storm was 125 yards wide and traveled for 5.38 miles, mostly over open country. Major damage to homes and barns occurred near Linnsburg, and numerous trees were damaged.
  • Kokomo (Howard County): EF-3 at 3:20 p.m. with wind speeds up to 152 mph. The storm was 300 yards wide and traveled for 4.82 miles. There were 20 injuries reported, and the storm led to significant structural damage to homes and businesses across the south side of Kokomo. Starbucks was destroyed near Markland Mall. Additional survey analysis is expected by Friday.
  • Indianapolis (Marion County): EF-0 at 4:19 p.m. downtown with wind speeds up to 80 mph. The storm was 100 yards wide and traveled for one-third mile. Windows were blown out of a home near the intersection of 25th and LaSalle streets, and the storm caused roof damage to a building on Stanton Street.
  • Flora (Carroll County): EF-1 at 5:40 p.m. with wind speeds up to 100 mph. The storm was 100 yards wide and traveled 17.24 miles. Several barns sustained partial wall and roof damage. One garage slid off its foundation, and tree damage was seen throughout the path.
  • Russiaville (Howard County): EF-1 at 6:56 p.m. with wind speeds up to 85 mph. The storm was 50 yards wide and traveled for 1.51 mile. The tornado tracked largely over open country. One garage was damaged, and trees and crops sustained damage throughout the path.

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Strong storms spawned at least 12 tornadoes on Wednesday in Indiana.

RELATED: At least 12 tornadoes confirmed in Indiana

Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee, left the campaign trail and returned to the Hoosier State, where he planned to survey widespread damage reported in Howard and Montgomery counties in Indiana on Thursday morning, CBS affiliate WTTV in Indianapolis reported.

“The most severe damage that we are aware of at this time was in Howard County and Montgomery County,” Pence said during a news conference, when he announced that 27 counties reported tornado warnings as storms passed through the state. There were no serious injuries or deaths reported, but he said up to 15 people were hurt in Howard County, which is under a state of emergency.

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis reported that an EF-3 tornado touched down in Kokomo in Howard County, and an EF-2 touched down in Crawfordsville, in Montgomery County, Ind., according to preliminary data.

The Starbucks in Kokomo was leveled by the storm described as “a confirmed large and extremely dangerous tornado” by the NWS. The twister hit Starbucks around 3:20 p.m. when it touched down near the Markland Mall. It also ripped through Park Place Apartments in Kokomo, causing heavy damage to the building, WTTV reported.

Pence issued the following Tweet around 5 p.m. in reaction to the tornado strikes in Indiana: “We are leaving NC and getting back to Indiana. Serious storms and tornados[sic]. Please keep Hoosiers in your prayers.”

The Salvation Army and Howard County officials opened a shelter to help 200 people so far at the Kokomo Events Center, the news station reported.

The Indiana University Kokomo campus also announced it will be closed Thursday due to power loss, and Kokomo Schools also canceled classes for Thursday, though the superintendent said no buildings sustained damage.