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Matt Barber and Fred Gross use a two-by-four to push the metal roofing back into place after the storm damaged the roof of the Horseshoe, located at 622 West Virginia in Kokomo. A large branch came down, piercing the hole and pushing the roof down. They are trying to get it covered in case it rains more. The Horseshoe is a club for playing horseshoes in the winter when Highland Park is too cold. Tim Bath | Kokomo Tribune

Powerful storms swept through the Howard County area early Thursday morning, leaving behind several downed trees and power lines.

Duke Energy officials said the storm knocked out power to over 1,000 customers countywide, with more than 100 customers still awaiting service as of Thursday afternoon.

According to the National Weather Service, a severe thunderstorm warning went into effect in Howard County shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday morning, with the storm’s highest level of intensity between 3:30-5 a.m.

Janice Hart, director of Howard County Emergency Management Agency, said there were no reported weather-related injuries on Thursday, but about nine EMA workers were dispatched to help in the cleanup of debris throughout the city.

Some of the locations Hart mentioned with fallen trees or power lines included the intersections of Webster and Foster streets — where a large tree struck a vehicle — Phillips and Elm streets, county roads 900 East and 400 South, county roads 200 South and 1000 East and Ind. 22 and Ind. 213. 

The small unincorporated community of Jerome was also hit with high standing water, Hart said.

Trees and debris in the roadway even affected some of the Kokomo School Corp. bus routes Thursday morning, though KSC Director of Communications said delays were very minor.

Accommodations also had to be made for Central Middle International School students on Thursday, as the storms knocked out power to the building. That power wasn’t restored until about 11 a.m.

“The corporation goal was for instruction to continue so students were learning as close to normal as possible,” Barnes said through email.

In a note sent out to parents Thursday morning, school officials stated that breakfast was still able to be served despite the outage, and students underwent instruction in classrooms that had natural light.

None of the other school corporations — Eastern, Western, Northwestern and Taylor — experienced any weather-related delays or other issues, school officials stated.

The NWS has thunderstorm potential between 20-30% on Friday, with those percentages increasing throughout the weekend. 

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