Powerful storms destroy homes, damage buildings in Indiana - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Powerful storms destroy homes, damage buildings in Indiana

Updated:
Tipton Tipton
Whitestown Whitestown
Kokomo Kokomo
Damaged building in Kokomo Damaged building in Kokomo
INDIANAPOLIS -
While tornadoes have not yet been confirmed, there were many sightings of tornado touchdowns throughout Indiana on Sunday as powerful storms moved through. Numerous large buildings were damaged, some homes and business were destroyed and many trees and power lines came down during the storms, which struck on Sunday afternoon.
 
The National Weather Service is expected to send out three teams Monday morning to assess damage and determine whether tornadoes caused it.
 
At least three people were reported injured.
 
Kokomo city development specialist David Tharp says there are multiple minor injuries there. He did not know how many.

Grant County Emergency Management Director Bruce Bender says one person was injured when two or three mobile homes rolled over at the Summit Village Trailer Park. Bender says four homes have been damaged, including two extensively between Marion and the town of Sweetser.

In Kokomo, the Salvation Army has opened a shelter at 1101 South Waugh Road.

So far, no deaths have been reported in Indiana, but the death toll is climbing in Illinois, as emergency management officials continue to receive reports from the field about the casualties and damage caused by the massive storm system that wreaked havoc across the state before traveling into Indiana. 

Six deaths were reported late Sunday night by NBC News, citing Illinois EMA sources.

Lebanon and Kokomo were particularly hard hit, with significant damage to buildings and vehicles. At State Road 39 and I-65, the Starbucks in Lebanon had its windows blown out and vehicles in the parking lot were tipped onto their sides. No one inside the Starbucks was hurt.

"I was looking out the front window of the Starbucks and I was actually on the phone with my mom saying, 'Hey, we're entering some not-so-nice weather here,'" said Elizabeth MacDougal. "And I saw the cloud line and I was looking and I saw this kind of weird shaped cloud. I grew up in northern Ohio, so I'm used to looking for this stuff. And then all of the sudden, I see this white cloud and I'm like, 'Oh, that's moving funny.' And then my eyes tracked downward and that's when the debris started to kick up. And that's when I said, 'Mom, I gotta go!'"

According to Boone County Emergency Management, a possible tornado cut a path from west to east around 3:59 p.m. , striking businesses in the Lebanon Industrial Park, at State Road 39 & I-65 and several residences in the area of South Meridian and South East streets.
 
Stokes School at 1005 E. Hendricks Drive is open to shelter anyone displaced by the storms in Lebanon.

Two minor injuries were reported when an occupied semi-truck was flipped onto I-65 from the parking lot of the Flying J Truck Stop. The occupants were taken to Witham Hospital in Lebanon with minor injuries.

Sightseers continue to be a problem within the affected area. The public is strongly urged to stay out of the affected area to avoid hindering emergency responders and clean-up crews.

State Road 39 between I-65 and SR 32 was closed for a few hours, along with local roads south of Noble Street in Lebanon.

There is no evacuation order in effect. If you need assistance with housing, contact the Boone County Dispatch Center at (765) 482-1412.

At the height of the storms, over 18,000 were without power, according to IPL. As of 7:30 that number was down to over 10,000. Check IPL outages here.

Duke Energy reports over 61,000 without power as of 7:30 pm. Check Duke outages here. 

Several people were injured after a large tornado touchdown outside of Peoria, Illinois. That was the same storm system that came through Indiana.
 
Grant County reported power lines down and several homes with significant damage, along with serious damage to the Dollar General Distribution center (I-69 & SR18).

In Howard County, there was major damage along US 31 in Kokomo; also from Russiavilla northeast through Kokomo. There were reports of windows broken and building damage at the Town Center Mall. Other buildings near the mall also reportedly damaged.

A state of emergency was declared for Kokomo until 6:00 am Monday. No vehicular or pedestrian traffic unless it's essential.

Tippecanoe County reported widespread damage. Southwest Middle School and Mintonye Elementary were damaged, along with businesses and homes. Power lines were down. Avoid non-essential travel.

Tippecanoe County along with White, Carroll, Montgomery and Fountain Counties felt the strength of the passing storm. As buildings were damaged, vehicles were tossed around and roads were blocked by trees, light poles and sometimes debris from buildings destroyed as the force of the storm made its way through the area.

Southwestern Junior High School on County Road 800 South, three miles west of US 231, had heavy damage. State troopers directed traffic around the school to prevent onlookers from coming onto school grounds.

There were also property damage crashes on I-65 in White and Tippecanoe Counties and I-74 in Fountain County. No life-threatening injuries were reported.

As of 9:00 pm Sunday, roads had not been cleared and potential hazardous conditions still could be present.

Behind today's cold front, cooler and drier air will filter in.  The work week will be quiet and dry until late week when more rain chances arrive.

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