Over 200 Indiana Residents Placed in Shelters After Indiana Tornadoes

Ann Johansson/Corbis via Getty Images(KOKOMO, Ind.) — The mayor of Kokomo, Indiana, said he felt "very grateful" Thursday morning after no deaths or serious injuries were reported from a devastating storm and tornado that hit the town Wednesday, flattening buildings and damaging homes.

About 10 to 15 minor injuries were reported, said Howard County Sheriff Steven Rogers, who added that the community was "very blessed" that there were no fatalities.

The storm in Kokomo, about 50 miles north of Indianapolis, piled cars on top of one another and even flattened a Starbucks, where people hid in the coffee shop's bathroom.

The devastation has forced 220 people to be temporarily placed in shelters, many of whom lived in several large apartment complexes that were heavily damaged, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said Thursday morning.

Tens of thousands of people were left without power, and Goodnight said that a major focus now is working on repairing damaged lines and restoring power.

A tornado took a similar path through this stretch of Kokomo in 2013, officials said.

Thirty-five tornadoes were reported in Indiana and Illinois Wednesday — the one in Kokomo being the strongest, where winds reached 165 miles per hour.

In Crawfordsville, Indiana, about 60 miles southwest of Kokomo, winds reached 111 miles per hour.

The tornadoes will be rated Thursday as the National Weather Service surveys the damage.


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California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

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