(KOKOMO, Ind.) — The mayor of Kokomo, Indiana, said he felt “very grateful” Thursday morning after no deaths or serious injuries were reported from a devastating storm and tornado that hit the town Wednesday, flattening buildings and damaging homes.
About 10 to 15 minor injuries were reported, said Howard County Sheriff Steven Rogers, who added that the community was “very blessed” that there were no fatalities.
The storm in Kokomo, about 50 miles north of Indianapolis, piled cars on top of one another and even flattened a Starbucks, where people hid in the coffee shop’s bathroom.
The devastation has forced 220 people to be temporarily placed in shelters, many of whom lived in several large apartment complexes that were heavily damaged, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said Thursday morning.
Tens of thousands of people were left without power, and Goodnight said that a major focus now is working on repairing damaged lines and restoring power.
A tornado took a similar path through this stretch of Kokomo in 2013, officials said.
Thirty-five tornadoes were reported in Indiana and Illinois Wednesday — the one in Kokomo being the strongest, where winds reached 165 miles per hour.
In Crawfordsville, Indiana, about 60 miles southwest of Kokomo, winds reached 111 miles per hour.
The tornadoes will be rated Thursday as the National Weather Service surveys the damage.
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