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'Particularly dangerous situation' in Kokomo results in major, EF3 tornado damage

Damage to businesses and homes
Kokomo reporting damage from confirmed tornado
Posted at 3:49 PM, Aug 24, 2016

KOKOMO, Ind. -- Several tornadoes touched down in Howard County Wednesday leaving multiple homes and businesses damaged or destroyed.

The National Weather Service confirmed the first storm in the mid-afternoon.


The NWS said the tornado was an EF-3 with winds up to 152 miles per hour, revised Thursday from 136 mph. The NWS labeled the storm a "particularly dangerous situation."

Throughout the day, eight tornadoes touched down across the region. Touchdowns were reported in Howard, Grant, Wells, Allen, Adams, Miami and Montgomery Counties.

According to the National Weather Service, the largest tornado outbreak in Indiana was Aug. 9, 1969. That record was broken last Monday, then broken again Wednesday.

The City of Kokomo and Howard County were under put under a State of Emergency as a result of the damage.

At least 300 to 400 people have been forced to leave their homes and the total could range anywhere from 700 to 800.

You can view videos of the tornado in the player at the top of this story.

PHOTOS Dangerous storms leave behind significant damage

Shelters were set up at UAW685, Memorial Gym, and he Kokomo Event Center at 1500 N. Reed Road .

The EF3 tornado in Kokomo destroyed a Starbucks near Markland Mall and caused damage to a nearby Panera Bread Wednesday afternoon, two examples of major amounts of damage to the area.

Conor Daly, race car driver in the Verizon IndyCar series, tweeted out some photos of the leveled Starbucks.

Starbucks released a statement on the tornado damage in Kokomo.

“We want to express our heartfelt concern for all those personally affected by a tornado that touched down in the community Kokomo, Indiana, this afternoon. We are relieved to report all partners (employees) and customers from the Starbucks store at US 35 & SR 22 are safe.We will continue to support our store partners and local authorities in any way we can.”

Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Joe Donnelly contacted Kokomo mayor Greg Goodnight to offer assistance.

Community Hospital Regional Health is located one mile away form the worst storm damage, but no damage to the hospital was reported. The hospital did temporarily lose power.

While cleanup continues, Kokomo schools were closed Thursday including IU Kokomo and Taylor Community Schools.

The area was hit with severe storms of this kind two-and-a-half years ago and Wednesdays' storms followed a similar path just south.