Kokomo tornado was EF3 with 165 mph winds

Northwest of Kokomo (photo courtesy Jodie Featherston Moss)
Howard County damage - 7 p.m. press conference
Kokomo tornado damage from Chopper 13
Melmo Parsons Tornado Video
Kokomo storm damage: Kevin Rader at 6:01 p.m.
Cedar Crest neighborhood hit by tornado
Raw Tornado Video
Heavy tornado damage in Kokomo
Storm update 443pm
Montgomery County damage: 5PM report
Gov. Pence comments on tornado outbreak
Storm damage Scott Swan 4am.mp4
Kokomo Starbucks Sunrise 4am.mp4
Tornado outbreak aerials and social media 4am.mp4
Surveying the damage in Kokomo 530am.mp4
Tornado outbreak 530am.mp4
Red Cross efforts in Howard County.mp4
Tornado outbreak 630am.mp4

HOWARD COUNTY (WTHR) - The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF3 tornado touched down in Kokomo Wednesday afternoon, with winds up to 165 mph.

Eight tornadoes were confirmed in central Indiana during Wednesday's storm outbreak, prompting a state of emergency to be declared until 9:00 pm Wednesday night. At least three of those tornadoes touched down. Kokomo Schools canceled classes for Thursday.

The majority of the damage was to property in Howard and Montgomery Counties. Gov. Pence said the storms hit at the worst possible time when factory shifts were changing over and school was getting out. He said it was a testament to first responders, media as well as friends and neighbors that there weren't serious injuries or any fatalities.

A shelter is open at the Kokomo Event Center at 1500 North Reed Road for Kokomo residents displaced by the storm. Another shelter is open in New Ross at Walnut Elementary School, 3548 S. 775 East. The Red Cross is providing services to displaced residents.

“We are committed to supporting residents in affected areas,” said Chad Priest,Regional CEO for the Indiana Region for the American Red Cross. “We will continue to work together with our Red Cross volunteers and our partner agencies making sure people have their basic needs and know the Red Cross is always there.”

Individuals affected by the storms are encouraged to contact the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross at: 317-684-1441. People affected by the Kokomo tornadoes can visit: redcross.org or the Indiana Red Cross headquarters at: 1510 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Late Wednesday night, Duke Energy reported 28,400 homes without power, with the majority in the Kokomo and Tipton areas, 324 in Montgomery County and 160 in Shelby and Monroe Counties. Indianapolis Power and Light reported 3,229 without power, mostly in Washington Township.

Residents are urged to stay off the streets in Howard County tonight.

Many more funnel clouds were reported during the outbreak, the Howard County sheriff said.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says there has been extensive property damage in Kokomo along with tens of thousands of power outages.

The EF3 tornado damaged over a dozen homes in Kokomo, and the Starbucks at the Markland Mall was flattened. Other buildings also have reported damage. A second tornado was confirmed at around 5:45 pm.

Kokomo Starbucks destroyed by tornado
A Starbucks at Markland Mall in Kokomo was destroyed by a possible tornado Wednesday afternoon (WTHR photo)

In a news conference at 8:00 pm, Gov. Mike Pence said 10 to 15 minor injuries were confirmed in Kokomo. Injury assessments are still going on in Montgomery County.

Extensive damage was reported at the Kokomo Country Club, where many old growth trees came down. Golf carts were also damaged.

Kokomo Country Club

A tornado was confirmed near the town of Swayzee at around 6:45 pm.

"We became aware this afternoon of serious weather moving through the state of Indiana, monitored that and we now have been in touch with our emergency operation personnel. Serious weather and tornadoes have touched down. We are not aware of any serious injuries or fatalities, thankfully," said Gov. Mike Pence.

Funnel clouds and possible tornadoes were also reported in the Linnsburg and Mace areas in Montgomery County.

A barn and several other buildings were destroyed in Mace, Montgomery County. The family was not home at the time.
A barn was flattened in Mace, Indiana.

Damage near Mace, Montgomery County (Photo: Susan French Fruits)

A possible tornado touchdown was reported at 21st and Ritter on the Indianapolis near east side.

The following video shows the tornado in Kokomo. (Please note it contains offensive language and has not been edited.)

Damage in the Cedar Crest neighborhood in Kokomo

Cedar Crest neighborhood in Kokomo

Flooding in Washington Township