State of emergency declared for Howard County as tornado causes widespread damage

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KOKOMO, Ind. – A state of emergency was declared in Howard County until at least 9 p.m. after tornadoes rolled through on Wednesday.

The tornado caused widespread damage, including to a Starbucks.

Connor Daly documented the event on Twitter. He drove by the Starbucks shortly after the tornado passed, and he tweeted, “Unbelievable! Just left @kokomospeedway and found an entire Starbucks displaced by tornado! Hope everyone is ok!”

The tornado also ripped through Park Place Apartments in Kokomo, causing heavy damage to the buildings.

Police say around 15 to 20 people were injured during the tornado outbreak.

The Salvation Army and Howard County officials have opened a shelter to help victims. It's located at the Kokomo Events Center at 1500 North Reed Road.  Officials say they have at least 200 people that they are sheltering so far. You can donate to the Salvation Army's efforts by texting “Hoosier” to 41444.

Jeff Hauswald, the superintendent of Kokomo Schools, says classes have been canceled Thursday. He also says their schools didn’t suffer any damage.

“Our thoughts remain with the families who have been negatively impacted by this storm,” said Hauswald. “Thank you for sharing this message and for reaching out to us.”

Indiana University Kokomo has also canceled classes for Thursday due to loss of power.

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