Tornadoes go through Indiana

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(Photo Supplied/ Indiana Weather Service)

INDIANA (WOWO/AP): The Latest on tornadoes touching down in central Indiana (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

7:35 p.m.

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is turning his attention from campaigning to his home state of Indiana after tornadoes struck the state.

Indiana’s governor, Pence was campaigning in North Carolina on Wednesday when multiple tornadoes touched down in central Indiana. Initial reports describe a large tornado moving across the Howard County city of Kokomo and damaging apartment buildings and automobiles and cutting power.

In a tweet, Pence says he is returning to Indiana and asks, “Please keep Hoosiers in your prayers.”

7:25 p.m.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says there were no serious injuries reported from the tornadoes that hit the area.

The mayor was speaking at a press conference shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Howard County authorities say eight funnel clouds were spotted in the area.

Goodnight says there was “substantial damage to property – a lot of trees are down.”

Officials have declared a state of emergency for the city and county. All roads are closed except for emergency vehicles performing essential functions until 9 p.m. Wednesday.

7:10 p.m.

Officials have declared a joint state of emergency for central Indiana’s Howard County and its county seat of Kokomo.

The declaration stated that all roads in the city and county are closed except for emergency vehicles performing essential functions until 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Utility companies reported more than 39,000 customers were without power Wednesday evening. Duke Energy said more than 25,000 customers lost electricity in Howard County alone.

5:30 p.m.

A maintenance worker at a central Indiana apartment complex says half of the buildings don’t have roofs following tornadoes that hit the area.

Mitchell Carlson is a maintenance technician at the Park Place Apartments on the west side of Kokomo, a city about 40 miles north of Indianapolis.

He says the complex has 16 buildings, and “probably eight of them don’t have a roof.”

He says “it’s a madhouse,” but that there haven’t been any reported injuries. He also estimated that 20 to 30 vehicles had been damaged by falling tree limbs and air conditioners.

Indiana University Kokomo has canceled all campus events due to the severe weather. In Avon, a city near Indianapolis, school officials cited the severe weather in ordering all buses to return to the nearest school amid the storms.

4:50 p.m.

Authorities say thousands of homes and businesses are without power in central Indiana after at least two tornadoes moved through the region.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson says the agency is monitoring damage from a tornado Wednesday afternoon in Kokomo, a city about 40 miles north of Indianapolis.

He says the agency has received no reports of injuries or deaths from that storm. But he says the storm has cut power to about 12,000 homes and businesses in Howard County.

Erickson says the agency is also assessing whether a reported tornado touchdown in eastern Indianapolis caused any damage. He urged residents to remain in a safe place until the storm passes in areas where tornado warnings have been issued.

4 p.m.

The National Weather Service is reporting at least two tornadoes have struck central and north central Indiana.

The weather service issued a tornado warning saying a “confirmed large and destructive tornado was about 10 miles east of Kokomo,” or about 40 miles north of Indianapolis

Meteorologist Dave Tucek says a tornado moved from the southwest side of Kokomo to the east-central side of that city. He says there are reports of damage but he had no specifics.

Local television station WTHR showed images of downed trees and a damaged Starbucks in the area.

The weather service also says Indiana State Police observed a tornado northwest of the Montgomery County town of New Ross, or about 35 miles northwest of Indianapolis, and moving east.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

There is currently a tornado warning for Van Buren, Arcana and Lake Wood until 5 p.m. A tornado watch has been issued for a large portion of Indiana and parts of Ohio until 9 p.m.

Below are pictures of the storm that have been shared on Twitter.

This story will be continually updated with the latest information on the storm. 

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