The Latest: Weather Service: Indiana tornado count unclear

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on recovery efforts from tornadoes touching down in central Indiana (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

The National Weather Service says it’s still unclear how many tornadoes touched down in Indiana on Wednesday.

The state’s Department of Homeland Security reported early Thursday that 12 tornadoes hit the state, but later the agency revised that number to eight.

Weather service meteorologist Joseph Nield says it’s not yet clear how many tornadoes touched down, although an EF3 tornado did strike Kokomo and an EF2 swept part of Montgomery County.

Nield says it’s likely several more tornadoes struck Indiana, but that those findings won’t come until later Thursday.

He says five separate weather service survey crews are scouring areas with storm damage in central and northern Indiana to determine if tornadoes struck there.


10:55 a.m.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has been hugging and chatting with people whose homes were destroyed or damaged when a tornado whipped through the city of Kokomo.

Donald Trump’s running mate arrived in Kokomo by helicopter to view the damage Thursday morning, a day after heavy storms spawned tornadoes across north and central Indiana.

Many trees were knocked down in the storm, and a large truck was hurled onto its side. Some homes are ruined while others were largely untouched.

Pence returned to Indiana after campaign stops in North Carolina on Wednesday. He has cancelled a campaign trip planned for Thursday.


8:35 a.m.

The mayor of Kokomo says crews from elsewhere in the state are coming to the central Indiana city to help restore power and clean up debris in the tornado-hit community.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said Thursday morning that he’s grateful that no one was killed or seriously injured by the storm that struck Wednesday afternoon, damaging numerous houses, apartments and businesses.

He says about 220 people stayed overnight in a temporary shelter in Kokomo, about 40 miles north of Indianapolis.

Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers says 10 to 15 people suffered minor injuries.

Utility companies report at least 15,000 homes and businesses remain without electricity in Howard County.

Police have restricted access to storm-damage neighborhoods, saying residents must show identification to officers before entering.


8:15 a.m.

Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security says a tornado outbreak produced at least 12 tornadoes.

Agency spokesman John Erickson says officials are still assessing the storm damage Thursday, but that the tally as of Wednesday night showed 12 tornadoes touched down in Adams, Allen, Blackford, Cass, Grant, Howard, Marion and Montgomery counties in northern and central Indiana.

Several of those tornadoes struck Howard County, where the south side of the city of Kokomo suffered extensive damage.

National Weather Service surveys Thursday should determine whether additional storm damage in other areas was caused by tornadoes or high winds in severe thunderstorms.


7:45 a.m.

Emergency officials and the Red Cross have set up shelters for victims of tornadoes that swept across central Indiana.

One shelter is at the Kokomo Event and Conference Center. The Indianapolis Star reports that about 200 people were being housed and fed at the center at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, hours after the storms moved through. Kokomo is about 50 miles north of Indianapolis.

Another shelter is at Walnut Elementary School in New Ross, northwest of Indianapolis.

The Indiana Red Cross regional headquarters in Indianapolis has a team of employees and volunteers working at an operations center.

The National Weather Service says at least eight tornadoes touched down on Wednesday causing substantial damage. Authorities say between 15 and 20 people suffered injuries but none were severe.


7:05 a.m.

The National Weather Service says a single, long supercell thunderstorm that moved through Indiana produced six tornadoes.

Forecasters say those six were among at least eight tornadoes that touched down in central Indiana on Wednesday. Authorities say about a dozen people were injured, but none seriously. Damage includes roofs torn off buildings, smashed vehicles and power loss to thousands.

The weather service says one tornado was an EF3 with 165 mph winds. GOP vice presidential candidate and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence plans to leave the campaign trail Thursday to assess storm damage.

The weather service says two other thunderstorms produced separate tornadoes, one in Avon west of Indianapolis and one northwest of Lafayette, which is southwest of Indianapolis.


9:20 p.m.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he’ll tour Howard and Montgomery counties and possibly other areas Thursday to assess the storm damage.

The Republican vice presidential candidate returned to Indiana from the campaign trail Wednesday evening after the National Weather Service said several tornadoes struck the state. One that hit Kokomo has been determined to be an EF3 with 165 mph winds.

Pence says he’ll remain in the state as long as necessary to ensure people affected by the storms have the support they need. He says 200 people have checked in to a Red Cross shelter in Kokomo.

Indiana State Police spokesman Capt. David Bursten says about a dozen people were injured, but none seriously.

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