Community gathers to keep 'Kokomo strong' after weekend tornadoes

KOKOMO, Ind. - Two EF2 tornadoes that tore through Kokomo on Sunday may have left a path of destruction and debris, but the storm didn't break the spirits of the city's residents.

Officials said 300 homes were damaged or destroyed and 30 businesses are gone with dozens of others damaged.

The United Way of Howard County is helping storm victims stay strong with a fundraiser aptly titled "Kokomo Strong."

Proceeds from T-shirts featuring the words Kokomo Strong will go to United Way, in turn helping storm victims get back on their feet.

Volunteers, some from out of state, have come to Kokomo to offer any help they can.

"Everybody's come together. We've had about 1,000 volunteers over the last three days. People walking through neighborhoods, picking up stuff and sitting with residents who are shell-shocked and they just need someone to hold their hands and say it's going to be OK," United Way of Howard County President Abbie Smith said.

Carl Willis’ home was the only one left standing on his block.

"We're all blessed. Everybody's got their health but everybody lost their possessions but me, and I feel really guilty about that. I'm blessed that I still have everything and I don't know how that happened," Willis said.

Utility crews have been working around the clock to restore power, but by Wednesday afternoon, more than 1,000 homes were still without electricity.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight and Matt Overton of the Indianapolis Colts expressed their support for the "Kokomo Strong" movement.

For more information on how to purchase a T-shirt, click here. (Mobile http://bit.ly/1hWMhWg )

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