Multiple Tornadoes Reported in Indiana, Leaving Thousands Without Power

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --   Multiple tornadoes have been reported striking central Indiana Wednesday -- damaging homes, destroying a Starbucks cafe, downing trees and leaving over 60,000 residents without power.

At 3:15 p.m. local time, the National Weather Service urged everyone in the area to take shelter immediately, calling the situation "particularly dangerous."

A little later, the NWS issued a tornado warning saying a "confirmed large and destructive tornado was about 10 miles east of Kokomo," or about 40 miles north of Indianapolis.

The tornado blew roofs off of homes and buildings, knocked over trees and even flattened a Starbucks in Kokomo's Markland Mall, ABC affiliate WRTV in Indianapolis reported.

People who had been hiding in the Starbucks' bathroom miraculously survived the tornado with no major injuries.

 "It's crazy. It's a madhouse," said Mitchell Carlson, a maintenance technician at the Park Place Apartments in Kokomo. He added that the complex has 16 buildings and "probably eight of them don't have a roof."

But fortunately, there have not been any reported injuries at the complex, he said. "So, I guess we're all blessed at the Park Place."

Though the tornado in Kokomo caused damaged and cut power to thousands of homes and businesses in Howard County, no injuries or deaths have been reported, according to Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson.

In addition to the Kokomo tornado, the IDHS has been assessing whether another reported tornado touchdown on Indianapolis' near east side caused any damage, Erickson said. "We're just asking people to sit tight, especially if there's a tornado warning in their area, so they can stay as safe as possible."

Police officers in Indianapolis spotted at least two funnel clouds close to the ground in the city just south of Interstate 70, but the department had received no reports of damage, according to Officer Jim Gillespie of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

The NWS said it had not received any immediate reports of major injuries.

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Charlottesville mayor to issue statement on Robert E. Lee statue

Charlottesville mayor to issue statement on Robert E. Lee statueMark Wilson/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer will issue a statement Friday afternoon after canceling a news conference at which he was expected to "make a major announcement" regarding the local statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the legacy of the woman killed during a protest sparked by the city's plans to remove the statue.

His news conference had been scheduled for noon on Friday, but the mayor tweeted Friday morning that "we are canceling today’s press conference and instead issuing a statement in the afternoon."

FYI all: we are canceling today’s press conference and instead issuing a statement in the afternoon. Stay tuned.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 18, 2017

FYI, the reason for the change is we decided a statement rather than a press event was the best medium for the ideas I want to convey today.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 18, 2017

The statement comes six days after a Unite the Right rally sparked by Charlottesville's plan to remove the Lee statue from a local park turned deadly.

The rally was attended by neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members. They were met with hundreds of counterprotesters, which led to street brawls and violent clashes.

A driver plowed into counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring several others. The suspected driver is in custody, facing charges including second-degree murder.

Despite the "painful" event, "we’re not going to let them define us,” Signer told ABC News earlier this week of the agitators.

"They’re not going to tell our story," he said. "We’re going to tell our story. And outsiders -- their time has come and gone. This city is back on their feet, and we’re going to be better than ever despite this."

Signer compared his hopes for Charlottesville's recovery to the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting in June 2015 that killed nine people. The gunman in that attack said he wanted to start a race war, but the tragedy instead united the city.

"There’s a memorial right now in front of Charlottesville City Hall that’s flowers and a heart that talks about the love that we have here. Those are the images that are going to replace these horrific ones from this weekend. That’s the work that we have as a country," Signer said.

"That’s what happened in Charleston. There were those horrible images of those people bloodied and killed and weeping from the church. But they were replaced quickly, steadily, by the work that started to happen. By people who said, 'You’re not going to tell our story for us. We’re going to tell our story.'

"And that’s what’s happening in this community. That’s my work as the mayor here -- is not to allow these hateful people who just don’t get this country to define us," he said. "And they’re not going to define us."

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