Heavy damage 3 dead, many injured

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Authorities in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky on Friday began surveying the massive damage caused by suspected tornadoes that swept through the Midwest overnight, leveling homes, killing at least three people and injuring dozens, officials confirmed, as they expected the death toll to rise. raise

Logan County Sheriff Randy Dodds said at a news conference Friday A suspected tornado that hit the Indian Lake and Orchard Island communities about 70 miles northwest of Columbus, Ohio, killed at least three people.

The names and ages of the deceased will not be released until their families are notified, he said. He did not say where they died. Searches were underway on Friday morning, and due to the severity of the damage, heavy equipment was used to lift large pieces of debris.

“It's going to take a long time,” Dobbs said, adding that many areas were inaccessible to first responders overnight because of gas leaks and downed power lines. More than 20,000 utility customers were without power. According to a database maintained by USA TODAY.

Tornado touchdowns were also reported in other parts of Ohio. According to NWS Cleveland, Huron County's emergency management agency reported damage to homes and structures in a half-mile-wide tornado patch. A middle school and several homes were damaged by downed trees and power transmission towers in Delaware County, near Columbus.

“Someone else's roof is in my kitchen” said Katie Spring, who braved the storm with her husband and two children, ages 9 and 11. The children wore bike helmets to protect themselves from falling debris, and her husband placed an overturned canoe over them. The family heard windows shattering in the wind. It sounded like an explosion, Springle said.

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Officials in Indiana report 38 injuries and no deaths from the tornado

Winchester Mayor Bob McCoy said at a news conference Friday that 38 people were injured in a suspected tornado that ripped through Delaware and Randolph counties in central Indiana. Two were in critical condition; No deaths were reported.

“Praise the Lord for this … because it could have been a lot worse,” he said. Twenty-two houses were completely destroyed and 110 were severely damaged.

Meyer said he and his family had taken shelter in a closet when tornado sirens began sounding in the city, about 70 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

“I was shocked; it was huge,” McCoy said at a news conference Thursday night. “I was stunned because I heard the train … and then my wife got a text from a friend … her parents live down the road and their house is gone.”

Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter said roads near storm-hit areas will be closed and only residents will be allowed inside. A reunification center was established for the families and the Red Cross began helping many. The governor also appointed Indiana Task Force One, a federally funded urban search and rescue team, to assist in search efforts.

“The fury of this really starts today when people realize the extent of the destruction of their homes and their livelihoods,” Carter said.

Dozens of buildings were leveled and damaged in Kentucky

In Kentucky, Trimble County Emergency Management Director Andrew Stark confirmed a tornado touched down in the town of Milton, south of Madison, Indiana. At least 50 structures, including homes, were damaged, Stark said.

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“We have total damage,” he said.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said a confirmed tornado in Trimble and Gallatin counties, and a possible tornado in Carroll County, caused only “minor injuries” with no reports of deaths or missing persons.

“We're going to work to do everything we can to help those affected — and we think more than 100 structures may be damaged,” Beshear said in a statement shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday. “Our job is to make sure that no Kentuckian is alone, especially in these difficult times.

Unconfirmed tornadoes were reported in Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois

The hurricane was fueled by powerful storms that dumped baseball-sized hail across the Plains and Midwest earlier in the week. The storms disrupted transportation, grounded planes and closed government buildings and entire school districts for days as they moved eastward.

On Thursday, large hail was reported in parts of Missouri and Arkansas, where a tornado is suspected of hitting the village of Hot Springs, a retirement community about 40 miles southwest of Little Rock. Unconfirmed reports of tornadoes were reported in Jefferson County, Missouri, and Monroe County, Illinois.

Contributed by: Associated Press; Columbus Dispatch; Louisville Courtier Journal

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