Pence views damage in Howard, Montgomery counties

(WISH Photo)

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) – Governor Mike Pence viewed the damage in Howard and Montgomery counties Thursday morning.

While visiting Kokomo neighborhoods, leveled by storms, he offered support. “It’ll be OK,” Governor Pence told a victim. “At least we’re all here.”

Governor Pence also visited a shelter in Kokomo that housed more than 200 people. “That was amazing,” Kokomo resident Bobby Thieke said. “To have somebody high up to show his support for us.”

“A lot of them were surprised to see him this afternoon and they were so happy to see him,” Kokomo resident Hope Biebower said.

His visit to each place wasn’t long. The governor spent 15 minutes inside the shelter, but people there said it was just enough.

“I wanted to take a picture of him and he goes, no, how about we take a picture together,”Biebower said. “I said, alright!”

Pence cleared his campaign schedule to come to Indiana early. He was planning to be in Carmel Friday to open a new campaign office.

Wednesday night the Vice Presidential candidate got a briefing on the severity of the storms. Pence said he’s amazed no one was seriously hurt.

“It is truly remarkable that there are such a few number of injuries or worse in the wake of this storm given the fact that it literally struck Howard County virtually at a shift change in the afternoon in a great manufacturing town and about the time kids were getting out of school. Just about the worst possible time.”

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security also viewed the hardest hit areas Thursday to determine if Indiana will request aid from the federal government.

On Thursday, the NWS confirmed a total of five tornadoes touched down in central Indiana. An EF-3 hit Kokomo, an EF-2 hit eastern Montgomery County, EF-1’s in Howard, Carroll and Howard counties and an EF-0 in Marion County. The tornado that touched down in Marion County was near the intersection of 25th Street and LaSalle. That’s just a few miles northeast of downtown Indianapolis.

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