Kokomo Mayor: Storm worst seen in 48 years - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Kokomo Mayor: Storm worst seen in 48 years

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Kokomo Kokomo
Kokomo Kokomo
Mayor Goodnight Mayor Goodnight
KOKOMO -

The damage in Kokomo is widespread after Sunday's storms. Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says the destruction is the worst he's seen in 48 years living there.

Maple Crest apartments is a prime example of what we will all be looking at in the morning: cars literally stacked like dominos.

"I was in the social room and it's here and it hit. I said it's here! Wind and metal flying and it was not safe for several minutes.  It was very scary," Vicki Jarvis, the manager at the complex, remarked.

Braden Roark was with her at the time. 

"I looked out the door and everything was moving this way. I see a tree limb go by so I immediately went to get everyone to shelter," said Roark.

Anywhere from five to six buildings were damaged in all at Maple Crest, with six to eight apartments in each building.

"That was my bank and that was my desk," Jerry Smith said disbelievingly Sunday night as he surveyed the damage.  He could hardly believe this was his BMO bank building in ruins and that no lives were lost in the incident.

"That was where my desk was at.  I'm just thanking God it wasn't through the week and there wasn't any employees here," he added.

The roof of Kokomo fire station No. 6 fell in on a fire engine. Power lines and poles fell on cars and brushed up against houses.

"Just trying to get through it now.  See what we need to fix and see that people can't steal from us," said John Kinney, whose grandmother was not at home when the storm struck her house.

Security will be a concern to make sure the full moon doesn't become a harvest moon.  Darkness masks the real destruction here.

Maple Crest is taking care of all the displaced residents here.  The good news here is that no lives were lost - one of many miracles no doubt from all across the state of Indiana.

Mayor Goodnight said Sunday night he's grateful no deaths have been reported. He says crews planned to continue work through the night clearing debris and restoring power to residents.

See weather pictures here.

The city has declared a state of emergency, and Kokomo police have asked residents to stay home and off the streets.

The state of emergency will be lifted at 6 a.m. Monday, but police are still prohibiting unnecessary travel. 

Gov. Mike Pence is expected to visit Kokomo on Monday.

"Thankfully, we have not had any reports of any deaths or serious injuries. A lot of minor injuries and property damage," said Mayor Goodnight.

All the traffic on US 31 made it seem like business as usual - but that was far from the case. Many drivers were rerouting through Kokomo because of power outages.

"We have all city personnel that are available inside the city," said the mayor. He said the state as well as neighboring communities had offered help and "we'll probably have to take them up on that."

In addition to Maple Crest, Cedar Crest was also hit hard. The top half of a home wound up in the street.

"Stay off the streets, whether it's walking, driving. Stay inside unless it's an emergency situation. We're having trouble enough getting through the streets with downed trees and power lines," the mayor advised.

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