Indiana governor declares disaster emergency

EAST CHICAGO, IN - APRIL 19: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb addresses the media after meeting with former residents and taking a brief tour of the West Calumet Housing Complex with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on April 19, 2017 in East Chicago, Indiana. All the residents of the complex were ordered to move by the East Chicago Housing Authority after the soil and many homes in the complex were found to contain high levels of lead. The area has been declared an EPA superfund site. This was Pruitt's first visit to a superfund site since being named the agency's administrator. The complex is scheduled for demolition. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has declared a disaster emergency for 11 counties in the wake of widespread flooding and related damage.

Holcomb issued the order Saturday for Carroll, Dearborn, Elkhart, Fulton, Lake, Marshall, Perry, St. Joseph, Starke, Switzerland and White counties. Officials say others could be added with more storms forecast in southern Indiana.

The declaration means the state can provide expanded emergency services and request aid from the federal government.

An Emergency Operations Center activated Thursday has coordinated the delivery of roughly 700,000 sandbags, two water pumps and other equipment and services for disaster response and recovery. Officials say some areas of the state have received record-level rainfall and significant flood damage.

Other states have issued similar orders: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens declared a state of emergency ahead of expected storms and flooding in southern parts of the state and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner issued a state disaster proclamation for three counties hit by flooding.

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1:30 a.m.

Authorities say at least two people have died as a strong storm system that included possible tornadoes pushed its way eastward through the central United States, leaving demolished homes, damaged vehicles and uprooted trees in its wake.

A man in northeast Arkansas and a woman in south central Kentucky both were killed as the storm that also included heavy winds, rain and hail muscled its way through the area.

In northeast Arkansas, an 83-year-old man was killed after high winds toppled a trailer home. Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller told KAIT-TV that Albert Foster died Saturday night after the home was blown into a pond.

In rural, south central Kentucky, 79-year-old Dallas Jane Combs died after a suspected tornado hit her Adairville home Saturday evening, Logan County Sheriff’s Department told television station WKRN.

The storm activated tornado watches and warnings in multiple states.

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