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Tornadoes rip Indiana

Tornadoes rolled through several communities in Indiana.

BY HEATHER MOYER | JAMESTOWN, Ind. | April 21, 2004


"It was very quick, the tornado just popped up and down off the ground all over the place."

—Larry Smith


Tornadoes rolled through several communities in Indiana Tuesday night, damaging homes and businesses. Severe storms made a path through Illinois into Indiana, spawning twisters all over the region.

In Jamestown, a small town of 900 people some 27 miles northwest of Indianapolis, government officials were assessing damages Wednesday. Preliminary damage reports showed 30 homes affected, 17 with severe damage and four with major damage. Two churches in Jamestown were also hit. One of those - the Church of God of Prophecy - was nearly destroyed, said Jamestown City Clerk and Treasurer Linda Isenhower.

Officials from the National Weather Service were in Jamestown Wednesday to confirm a tornado caused the damage. Isenhower, who watched the tornado roll through her backyard, had little doubt. "I've lived here all my life and I've seen tornadoes before - and that was a tornado," she said.

The twister also blew over several semi-trucks on Interstate 74 near Jamestown, said Indiana State Emergency Management Agency spokesman Alden Taylor. Several injuries were reported, but none was life threatening.

The United Methodist church in Jamestown is hosting an emergency shelter where volunteers are serving meals to rescue workers.

In Kokomo, 50 miles north of Indianapolis, another tornado rumbled through the city, ripping off roofs in the northeastern section of town. Skaters at the local skating rink had to take cover when the tornado hit the building, collapsing the roof. No one was injured.

Larry Smith, director of emergency management for Kokomo and Howard County, said two homes in the city were destroyed and several others sustained minor damage. Three local businesses also suffered roof damage.

"It was very quick, the tornado just popped up and down off the ground all over the place," Smith said.

Just south of Kokomo in Russiaville, another tornado destroyed a barn and ripped the roof off a business.


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