Disaster emergency declared in 11 Indiana counties


Gov. Mitch Daniels has declared disaster emergencies for 11 southern Indiana counties after tornadoes raked the state Friday.

Daniels issued the declarations Saturday for Clark, Gibson, Harrison, Jefferson, Posey, Ripley, Scott, Shelby, Vanderburgh, Warrick and Washington counties.

At least 14 people were killed in the storms that leveled houses and cut a wide path of destruction, but Daniels says many lives were saved because residents took preparations and heeded warnings.

He toured the damaged areas Saturday and said it was "a merciful thing" that no students were killed when the tornado hit Henryville High School as students took shelter.

Daniels says the immediate focus of state and local government officials will be to provide food, shelter and medical assistance to those affected. Indiana will enlist federal help later.

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