‘It sounded like a train:’ Clark County families recount EF1 tornado

Rob Howard is comforted by his friend Kevin Dancy as they look over the large tree that crushed Howard’s garage  Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in the 2500 block of Mechanicsburg Road near Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Rob Howard is comforted by his friend Kevin Dancy as they look over the large tree that crushed Howard’s garage Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in the 2500 block of Mechanicsburg Road near Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Several Clark County residents on Wednesday evening had close calls as an EF1 tornado touched down north of Springfield, with the bulk of damage impacting German, Springfield and Moorefield Twps.

For some such as Yvonne Mullins, who was in the garage of her Deer Run Road home Wednesday evening, news of the severe weather came from her father. He called to alert her to possible tornadoes in the area.

After clearing debris from her garage door sensor, she was able to shut out the oncoming winds as she took shelter in her home. In mere minutes, her pear tree had collapsed into the cars parked near her house. She then recalls hearing a ferocious roaring sound that lasted for nearly a minute.

“It sounded like a train,” she said.

She traveled upstairs to survey the damage and found that a tree had sliced into her spare bedroom.

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“I’ve never lived through something like this before, and it was pretty devastating,” she said.

The National Weather Service reported that an EF1 tornado touched down north of Springfield, and an EF2 tornado touched down near Tipp City as a severe storm traveled through the Miami Valley.

The EF scale estimates the wind speeds and damage of a tornado. EF1 tornadoes have wind speeds between 86-110 miles per hour; EF2 tornadoes, 111-135; EF3 tornadoes; 126-165; EF4 tornadoes, 166-200. The most severe, the EF5, boasts winds of more than 200 miles per hour.

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A storm damages Prosser Field along Mechanicsburg Road Wednesday evening, June 8, 2022. An EF1 tornado touched down north of Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

A storm damages Prosser Field along Mechanicsburg Road Wednesday evening, June 8, 2022. An EF1 tornado touched down north of Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

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A storm damages Prosser Field along Mechanicsburg Road Wednesday evening, June 8, 2022. An EF1 tornado touched down north of Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

During EF1 tornadoes, roofs are stripped and mobile homes are often overturned or severely damaged, an event a Clark County family survived Wednesday.

Cami Linville, who lives with her family at Rose Garden Mobile Home Park on Upper Valley Pike, said her husband saw a funnel cloud heading for their trailer shortly before chaos ensued.

They tried to escape, but the trailer rocked around from the force of the winds and knocked them to the ground. Linville’s husband urged his family to take cover in their bathroom.

The couple’s 3-year-old and 6-year-old children, joined by their 15-year-old niece, took cover there, but Linville and her 10-year-old were thrown to the ground as the trailer rocked a second time.

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VIDEO: Clark County woman describes close brush with possible tornado

VIDEO: Clark County woman describes close brush with possible tornado

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VIDEO: Clark County woman describes close brush with possible tornado

“I watched the walls suck in and out. I watched the windows shatter all around us,” she said through tears.

Her mobile home was knocked off its foundation, and her family had to break out the back door of the home to get out.

She said Wednesday that they all escaped without serious injury.

Clark County received reports the following days of trees falling into several buildings throughout the area, as well as damage to area roofs and siding. The county referred several households to the Red Cross for support services, according to a Clark County spokesperson.

A home on Mechanicsburg Road lost its garage to a fallen tree from Wednesday’s storm. Homeowner Robert Howard said he had just finished grilling a dinner of steak and asparagus when he walked into his house and took a glance out his window.

“I looked at my wife and said, ‘let’s go to the basement,’” he said.

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A woman walks past a tree that had fallen on two vehicles Wednesday, June 8, 2022, along Deer Run in German Twp. during Wednesday’s storm. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

A woman walks past a tree that had fallen on two vehicles Wednesday, June 8, 2022, along Deer Run in German Twp. during Wednesday’s storm. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

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A woman walks past a tree that had fallen on two vehicles Wednesday, June 8, 2022, along Deer Run in German Twp. during Wednesday’s storm. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Within five minutes, large trees cracked and collapsed into his front yard. Another tree crashed into the center of his garage.

He said he was grateful no one was injured, but sad that his dinner had grown cold, commenting the “grill was still hot” by the time the storm rolled through.

Across the road, Prosser Fields also saw damage to its storage shed and bathroom facility, with the building roof ripping off. Fencing around the ball fields also saw damage, warping from the strength of the winds.

Field owner Joey Wagner was in Marysville buying a new car during the storm, having relatives send him photos and video call him to show him the damage, which devastated him.

“I’m sick to my stomach over it,” he said. “Hopefully we can get it back together, because we were really looking forward to next year.”

Wagner took over the ball fields in September and has been working with his dad, Mike, and numerous volunteers to restore the baseball fields to their former glory. He played baseball there as a kid in the ‘90s.

He’s unsure of the extent of the damage, but plans on starting clean-up as soon as possible.

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Mike Wagner, who is also the maintenance director at Prosser, was the second person at the ball fields following the storm.

“It’s just a setback,” he said. “But it’s a little defeating.”

German Twp. saw multiple roadways covered in debris from fallen trees Wednesday night, with roads blocked off on Fox Hollow Road and Delrey Road area residents cleaning up numerous downed trees.

Noah Jordan, 18, was with his girlfriend at his home on Stoney Creek St. in German Twp. when the storm hit. His parents and two siblings were away when the severe weather rolled in, and his mother had called and told him that there was a tornado heading down Route 41.

He said that he and his girlfriend ran down stairs, and within a matter of seconds, it was pouring rain and the wind was crazy. He returned upstairs to retrieve his pet cat when he heard a loud crash.

He and his girlfriend ventured back upstairs, where they saw damage to their siding and garage.

Jordan said that a “straight line” wind storm moved through the area a few years back that knocked down a tree on the property, and at the time, he and his family thought it was “pretty bad.” What happened on Wednesday, though, Jordan described as being on a “another level.”

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Noah Jordan helps clean up his family’s German Twp. yard Thursday, June 9, 2022, after Wednesday’s storm toppled several trees. An EF1 tornado touched down north of Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Noah Jordan helps clean up his family’s German Twp. yard Thursday, June 9, 2022, after Wednesday’s storm toppled several trees. An EF1 tornado touched down north of Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

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Noah Jordan helps clean up his family’s German Twp. yard Thursday, June 9, 2022, after Wednesday’s storm toppled several trees. An EF1 tornado touched down north of Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Neighborhoods throughout the county began cleanup following the storm Wednesday evening, working after sundown while emergency crews also tended to blocked roadways and downed power lines.

Dozens of volunteers gathered at the Springfield Country Club Thursday to clean up the property, which was littered by multiple downed trees that had snapped in half or were completely uprooted from the strong winds.

“It’s really nice how the community’s come together,” said Springfield Country Club General Manager Craig Taylor.

The county last saw a tornado in 2019, when an EF0 rolled through the county near Selma and South Charleston, with damage to area barns and the Pitchin Fire Department reported. An EF1 in 2018 touched down near South Charleston, causing damage to houses from fallen trees and downed power lines.


What to keep in mind to avoid scams during severe weather:

The City of Springfield this week warned residents of potential scams, providing several facts to keep in mind during post-storm cleanup.

  • The city requires that all companies doing work inside the city limits be registered with the city. Residents find out if a tree worker in their neighborhood is registered by calling the Service Department at 937-525-5800.
  • Minor damage can be repaired without a permit, where major damage will require a permit and inspection.
  • Debris on private property is typically the responsibility of the homeowner, but some brush recycling centers in the area will accept yard waste at no charge. More information on these services can be found at springfieldohio.gov/urban-forestry.
  • Those who have experienced storm damage on their property can seek guidance from the Building Regulations Division of the City’s Community Development Department, which can be reached at 937-324-7389.

Source: City of Springfield