Gov. Pence willing to clear campaign schedule to deal with storm’s aftermath

Gov. Mike Pence returned to Indiana following the strong central Indiana storms. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Governor Mike Pence said he’s willing to clear his campaign schedule for as long as needed in order to address the damage and other problems Wednesday’s storms caused in Indiana.

He visited the Indiana Emergency Operations Center at the Indiana Government Center in downtown Indianapolis late Wednesday to be briefed on the extent of the storms, as well as help coordinate the relief effort. While at the EOC, he learned from the Indiana Department Of Homeland Security (IDHS) that at least eight tornadoes were spotted in the state, with three touching down.

He offered his condolences to the families and business owners dealing with damage to their homes and properties, especially in Howard and Montgomery counties.

He said at least 15 homes were damaged in Howard County, another 30 in Montgomery.

Governor Pence said the Indiana Department Of Transportation will have large flood lights used for construction projects in the counties where damage occurred in order to allow people to work around the clock to clean up.

The Indiana Department of Corrections will send inmates to those areas to help pick up debris.

Governor Pence said road the ahead will be tough, but he’s confident Hoosiers will be ready to help each other.

“When you see a storm move through of this violence and you don’t have the level of injuries or worse, that’s a testament to an awful lot of people. But it’s also a testament to neighbors and friends who I know, because I know Hoosiers reached out to neighbors and made sure that they knew what was happening and were able to get out of harm’s way,” he said.

The governor plans on visiting Howard and Montgomery counties tomorrow.

He said in times like these he prefers to be in the hardest hit areas to make sure the relief efforts are going as planned and people’s needs are being met.

He added that IDHS has already been in touch with FEMA.

Tomorrow, IDHS will be assessing damage in the areas most affected to determine if they’ll request federal aid.

Lastly, Governor Pence thanked first responders such as police, fire fighters, and paramedics several times. He also thanked the media for their constant coverage and ability to put out warnings to the public. He said their combined effort helped prevent the storms from leaving anyone dead or critically injured.\

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