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Snow slows tornado cleanup in Indiana

March 05, 2012|By Michael Muskal

About three inches of snow fell overnight in southern Indiana, slowing cleanup efforts and compounding the misery in areas hard hit by tornadoes in recent days, a state official said Monday morning.

The snow creates problems such as hiding nails, screws, boards and other debris on roads, making it a bit more difficult to move in cleanup help, State Police Sgt. Ray Poole, public information officer for the state’s joint information center, said in a telephone interview.

The cleanup "hasn’t come to a complete, screeching halt," Poole said, "but it does hide nails and screws, and we don’t want people stepping on them. It's not like a complete halt. We’re used to snow out here."

Photos: Tornadoes in Midwest and South

Despite the snow, emergency services are continuing to mobilize, he said.

People affected by the severe weather in the southern part of the state, particularly in and around Henryville and Marysville, have been staying in shelters, hotels or with relatives, he said.

The storm caused heavy damage to the school in Henryville, and classes have been canceled through the week.

The death toll in Indiana on Monday morning stood at 13, including Angel Babcock, 15 months old, who died on Sunday, Poole said. The toddler’s death increased the toll to 39 in the five states wracked by tornadoes Friday.

Angel was the miracle survivor of the tornado that killed her parents and two siblings in New Pekin on Friday night. When she was brought to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky., medical personnel were initially optimistic.

But the girl’s condition deteriorated through Saturday as her brain swelled, officials said.

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