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Twister cut 43-mile swath of destruction


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Twister cut 43-mile swath of destruction

Tuesday, November 8, 2005; Posted: 12:15 p.m. EST (17:15 GMT)





KNIGHT TOWNSHIP, Indiana (CNN) -- All residents of a Vanderburgh County mobile home park were accounted for Tuesday, two days after a tornado made a 43-mile run from Kentucky across the southern Indiana countryside, killing 22 people.


Eighteen people died in the mobile home park and four in neighboring Warrick County. Of 350 homes in the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park, 100 were destroyed, and another 125 badly damaged.


Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth said that residents of the mobile home park will be allowed to return to search for belongings, beginning Wednesday.


"We know that is an important part of this process, to let the victims back in here to try to find pictures, mementos, family albums and things that make them feel better," he said, "so we're going to escort those people back in, give them a chance to come in and collect belongings."


The twister that hit the trailer park and other homes was part of a line of thunderstorms that smashed through the region about 2 a.m. Sunday. More than 200 people were injured. (Watch how a tornado left a 500-yard wide path of destruction -- 1:40)


The National Weather Service said Tuesday the tornado was an F3 on the Fujita scale, with up to 200 mph winds.(The Fujita scale explained)


Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has declared a statewide emergency and plans to ask for federal disaster assistance as well, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman said.


She said President Bush called Daniels, his former budget director, on Monday and asked how the federal government could help.


Daniels "felt like the response that we had given was appropriate at this time," said Bush, who was in Panama on Monday.


Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were on the scene.


Authorities said they weren't sure how many tornadoes hit the area. The destruction came in the middle of the night when most people were sleeping and sightings weren't possible.


And county tornado sirens weren't much help -- nor could they have been, Knight Township Fire Chief Dale Naylor said.


"It was 2 o'clock in the morning," he said. "I'm not sure what else you could do. I heard the alarms."




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