Kokomo-area residents got alerts before storms

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("Smart Phone" by Graeme Paterson, CC BY 2.0)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Howard County and the city of Kokomo have only 10 tornado sirens, but a telephone and text-messaging system spread the word about dangerous storms bearing down on the central Indiana community.

WRTV-TV reports the emergency alert system was installed in the county after a 2013 tornado.

Before the first tornado struck Wednesday, thousands of people received telephone calls or text messages.

Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman says “thousands upon thousands of people in Howard County” have signed up for the notifications and “it worked unbelievably well. … People were getting notifications well in advance of these tornadoes touching down.”

The National Weather Service says one tornado was an EF3 with 165 mph winds. Authorities report only 10-15 minor injuries in Howard County.

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