Storm-weary Kokomo prepares for another weather onslaught

Workers raced to repair the roof of Kokomo's salt barn.

It's hard to find a county in Indiana - and maybe in the entire United States - that has been harder hit in the last year than Kokomo.

Howard County residents had to deal with a 100-year flood in April, tornadoes in November and now an all-time record snowfall of 61 inches so far this winter.

Between the flood and the tornado, storm clean-up cost Kokomo around $800,000. Now the race is on to install the roof that was torn off by the tornado on the salt barn before the snowfall to come. Thirty snow plows are gearing up, loading up with salt and brine and beet juice to pre-treat the roads.

"You have to look at the positives, and the positives are that we've not had any that have had any deaths or major injuries associated with it. It's been property damage. For some people it's been substantial property damage and obviously it has an impact on their life," said Mayor Greg Goodnight (D-Kokomo).

Diane Collins is one of those residents that the mayor was referring to. Collins has waited patiently since last November's tornadoes to get her mother's home repaired. Now the window she has waited so long for is getting smaller and smaller. It's a race to get the work completed before the snow starts falling.

"Mostly it was debris hitting the house. The tornado was only a block away so debris hit the house, causing damage to the siding," Collins explained. "You have had floods, tornadoes, record snowfall. It's amazing. I am ready to move, actually."

Collins is not alone. The City of Kokomo was working feverishly in a cold, blustery wind to get a roof back up on the salt barn. While that is going on up there, trucks were lining up below, racing to be ready for the onslaught to come.