Cold weather will return to the region next week after a brief reprieve of warmer temperatures brought flooding to western Clark County on Friday, and the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado struck northern Montgomery County late Thursday.
Clark County saw extreme winds as gusts up to 56 mph in New Carlisle and 42 mph in Springfield on Thursday. Winds subsided some but were still brisk Friday.
However, Clark County did not see much wind damage, according to Clark County Engineer Jonathan Burr.
“Neither one of us could believe any trees didn’t go down,” said Burr about himself and his operational manager’s damage assessments. “I don’t know if someone else cleaned them up or what.”
Spangler Road between Union Road and Upper Valley Pike was closed Friday because of flooding near Mad River.
“We saw flooding in the same normal spots where the river comes up,” Burr said. “The river comes up and there is no place for the water to go. That is just the way it is.”
Burr said there were some unusual spots that flooded early Friday morning, but the water had drained away by itself quickly.
He said crews will go to Spangler Road today to determine if they can reopen it.
“We are all fighting it day-by-day and praying for spring,” Burr said. “It won’t be too long, and we will be complaining it’s too hot.”
A survey conducted Friday by the National Weather Service determined a small tornado occurred near Phillipsburg around 10:55 p.m. Thursday. The service rated the tornado an EF0, meaning the tornado reached an estimated maximum wind speed of 85 miles per hour. The weather service said the path of the tornado was 100 yards in width by 1 mile in length.
NewsCenter 7 meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said February tornado outbreaks are rare, but not out of the question.
“We had the same type of ingredients that do lead to tornadic outbreaks,” Vrydaghs said. “We had the warm unstable air that was coming in from the south and streaming throughout the day. Then we just had a very strong cold front working in.”
Vrydaghs said the collision of the hot and cold air contributed to the formation of the tornado.
Looking forward, she said, warm temperatures are gone for an extended forecast that could include snow.
“It looks like we’re going to be seeing temperatures falling down into the single digits in a couple of mornings and struggling to warm into the 20s,” Vrydaghs said. “The six-to-10 day outlook looks to be below normal for temperatures.”
Low on salt and facing the prospect of freezing temperatures, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced Thursday it reached an agreement to buy up to 5,000 tons of additional road salt from Morton. A previous attempt to purchase salt earlier this month failed to earn a single bid from salt suppliers, according to ODOT officials.
John Bedell and Will Garbe contributed to this report.
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