Tornadoes tear through Dayton, Ohio area, leave “crazy damage”
A series of confirmed and suspected tornadoes ripped through Ohio’s Miami Valley on Memorial Day night, causing injuries and widespread damage and leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the dark. The funnels were packed so closely together that one crossed the path carved by another and kicked up debris so thick it was seen on radar.
CBS Dayton affiliate WHIO-TV, citing weather radio spotters, says twisters were reported in Montgomery County, which includes Dayton, as well as several other counties in the area.
The Ohio Emergency Management Agency said there were more than 80,000 power outages across the state. Most were in the Miami Valley. More than 5 million people were affected, according to the National Weather Service.
The service confirmed Monday night that a “large and dangerous tornado” hit near Trotwood, Ohio, in Montgomery County outside Dayton.
The City of Dayton tweeted that, “Due to the widespread power outages we are asking all Dayton and Montgomery County Customers to conserve water. We have lost power to both water plants and pump stations. First Responders are performing search and rescue operations and debris clearing.”
Numerous roads were closed, including the southbound lanes of Interstate 75, where the Ohio Department of Transportation was using snow plows to remove debris.
Several shelters were set up.
In Greene County, Beavercreek schools Superintendent Paul Otten said his neighborhood has “crazy damage.”
“We have downed power lines, but the biggest thing we’re seeing is that there are trees just gone,” Otten told WHIO.
In Dayton, the roof was torn off a building constructed in 1944. Telephone poles were down. A WHIO viewer said he saw transformers sparking and burning.
Elsewhere in Montgomery County, injuries and major damage were reported in Brookville, whose high school lost its roof.
Police in Celina, in Mercer County, were stopping people from entering the city due to live wires on the ground and severe damage.
A barn that was in a field in Miami County is gone, Linda Taylor said, as is part of her home’s roof.
An Indiana town was also heavily damaged by storms, including reports of two tornadoes Monday. But Emergency Management spokesman Todd Harmeson said Tuesday morning that, “We do not know at this time if this was a tornado, straight-line winds or what the cause was” of damage in Pendleton, 35 miles northeast of Indianapolis.
The tornadoes were the latest inthat forecasters say won’t stop anytime soon. Tornadoes struck again Monday in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.
In the past week, at least 15 people have been killed by tornadoes and flooding.
Rivers were rising to record levels, threatening homes and businesses in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.
Drone video showed the scope of the historic flooding along the Arkansas River near Fort Smith, with neighborhoods and cars submerged. And the worst is yet to come.
The river is expected to crest Wednesday — a historic 20 feet above flood stage. Residents aren’t just worried about keeping the water out. Barling Police Oofficer James Breeden said they’re keeping an eye on the levees. “They’ve never been tested to this limit before,” Breeden told CBS News.
Over the weekend, an EF-3 tornado packing winds up to 165 mph, cut through El Reno, Oklahoma, where it killed two people and injured more than 25 others.