A tornado struck the city of Kokomo, Indiana, leaving behind massive damage and destruction in its trail.
Occurring about 60 miles north of Indianapolis, the tornado completely destroyed a Starbucks store in Markland Mall.
As reported by WTHR, most of central Indiana has been placed under a tornado watch until 9 p.m. on Wednesday.
Tornado warning: All roads in Kokomo closed
The mayor of the City of Kokomo, Greg Goodnight, issued a statement in the wake of the catastrophe, saying, “All roads in the City of Kokomo and Howard county are hereby closed to every person and motor vehicle except for emergency vehicles performing the essential functions of government and public health and safety until 9 p.m.”
The tornado struck the city at 3:18 p.m.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence said he was returning to the state. “So, we’re headed home and we’re going to be home so long as it takes for us to make sure these communities have the resources and the support they need to put themselves back together after these very violent storms,” he said. The Indiana Department of Transportation has deployed crews to clear up the debris from state routes.
Tornado warning: There has been ‘pretty severe property damage’
Property damage occurred as a result of the tornado, according to Goodnight. Several trees were also downed, as reported by KMBC. “I am in a residential neighborhood and there is a lot of roof damage, windows out, a roof completely taken off the home, power out,” he said. “It is pretty substantial. I have seen damage to about 50 homes so far. We are still looking at the damage.”
A Starbucks store in Markland Mall was demolished as a result of the tornado. The incident was captured in a video, which can be viewed towards the bottom of the story. The store said none of its customers or employees was wounded, as reported by WRTV.
The tornado also resulted in numerous power outages. Duke Energy reported as many as 29,000 outages meanwhile IPL reported 7,500, according to CNN.
The first tornado warnings came about as a result of a massive storm that moved through Boone and Montgomery Counties, including Crawfordsville. Indianapolis, Lawrence and Speedway – covering an area wherein 530,000 people live – have been placed under a tornado watch that will remain in effect until 4:45 p.m. EDT, according to the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.
— JamieBall (@JamieBall5J) August 24, 2016
(Aaron Lifford / Facebook) pic.twitter.com/70agz91RwV
— N.T.A. NEWS™ (@NoThiefs) August 24, 2016
⚠️ Take Cover! Tornado Warning continues for Indianapolis IN, Lawrence IN, Speedway IN until 4:45 PM EDT pic.twitter.com/wGBLw7uM9T
— NWS Indianapolis (@NWSIndianapolis) August 24, 2016