A resident works to salvage items from a home damaged by severe weather in Kokomo, Ind., Nov. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence says the federal government has rejected Indiana's request that Howard County be declared a major disaster area because of damage from last month's tornadoes and severe storms.
The Indiana tornadoes were among dozens that hit the Midwest on Nov. 17 killing at least eight people. Illinois was particularly hard hit, as strong tornadoes destroyed entire neighborhoods. It was one of the largest November tornado outbreaks in recorded history.
Pence said Wednesday he has ordered the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to appeal the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The state on Dec. 4 asked FEMA to approve grants and low-interest loans to help homeowners and business in and around Kokomo recover from the Nov. 17 storm.
(WATCH: Tornado Slams into School)
The state says 191 homes sustained major damage or were destroyed and nearly 1,000 homes overall were damaged. Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster has placed the preliminarily damage estimate at more than $2.84 million in Howard County.
The Indiana congressional delegation had urged FEMA to approve the request.
MORE: User-generated Tornado Photos
This tornado photos was taken in April, 2012 near I-20 in Lancaster, TX. This system spawned a tornado so strong that it picked up trailers and tossed them around like matchbox cars. (iWitness weather user: ban_ss64)