Volunteers continue to clean up Kokomo tornado damage

(WISH Photo)

KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — People in Kokomo are still cleaning up, three days after multiple tornadoes swept through the city. There is still a lot that needs to be done, but donations and volunteers continue to pour in.

George Pena lost his home to the tornado Wednesday. “I’m looking around and looking at the damage at this place and can’t believe I survived,” he said.

Pena was inside this home when the tornado touched down. He took cover in a bathroom. “Everyone asks me how long did it last. Ten or 15 seconds, but that was the longest 10 or 15 seconds of my life,” he said.

It’s been a long three days of sorting through the damage and working to clean up the mess. Pena said it’s been a little easier to handle thanks to a steady stream of volunteers.

“We feel the little things in life mean the most to people. We brought some donations, some food, some water and some manpower,” volunteer Billy Henry said.

Henry is with the Alpha Omega Moto Club out of Richmond, Indiana.

He said they don’t know Pena, but made the trip to Kokomo to help. The group spent the day helping sort through what’s left of Pena’s home.

Pena said the support of those strangers and others who have stopped by are helping him keep a positive attitude.

“This chapter of my life has ended and now I’m going to start another chapter and see how far this one will go,” Pena said.

Crews in Kokomo are also working to restore power.

On Saturday night there were still more than 800 people in the dark, according to Duke Energy.

A spokesperson for the company said restoration is taking longer than anticipated because crews continue to find additional damage to the lines and system. Crews and contractors will work through the night and they’re hoping to have power restored sometime on Sunday.

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