Rainfall above average for months, and more on way

For the past several months, drivers have had to navigate in the rain more often, including those Friday on S.R. 48 in Centerville. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
For the past several months, drivers have had to navigate in the rain more often, including those Friday on S.R. 48 in Centerville. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF

Rainfall topped area roadways Thursday and Friday, rushing past their monthly averages for the sixth month in a row throughout the region with more downpours expected before April ends.

Some areas of the region were drenched by up to two inches of rain in a 24-hour span and pelted by strong winds, including a tornado that touched down in Darke County.

“It’s been wet out there for quite some time, even looking back the last six months. Each of the last six months — including the one we are in right now — have seen above-average precipitation,” said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Jesse Maag.

October was the last month precipitation was below normal, Maag said.

MORE: Could weather cause a downpour on Bellbrook’s Sugar Maple Festival?

The wet trend is expected to continue through April, and the forecast for the beginning of May is leaning toward above-average rainfall, Maag said.

Last year’s 48.99 inches of precipitation and 2017’s 50.09 inches rank as the 10th and sixth wettest years in Dayton since 1900, according to National Weather Service data.

Darke County twister

Jim Cantrell said part of his house in Darke County disappeared in an instant Thursday night.

“All of sudden, bam, bam, the porch — a 30-foot-long porch — just went right over the top of the roof, taking all kinds of shingles with it,” he said.

RELATED: Storm survey confirms EF-0 tornado touchdown in Darke County

Cantrell said while he ran for cover a dog kennel “rolled like a ball” and smashed into the family car.

“It was scary,” he said. “I don’t know if it was a tornado or not, but it sure seemed like one.”

Cantrell’s intuition proved correct on Friday afternoon after a National Weather Service team surveyed the damage and determined the damage consistent with an EF-0 tornado with winds up to 70 mph.

The National Weather Service had tentatively confirmed 10 tornadoes in Ohio this year before Thursday’s Darke County tornado. Four of those were recorded in Clark County where three touched down in a two-day span two weeks ago.

RELATED: Four of Ohio’s eight tornadoes this year have hit in one local county

Some roads were impassable because of high water Thursday night into Friday in Auglaize, Darke and Mercer counties where a flood warning continued into this morning.

More than 2,000 customers lost electricity in Darke, Miami and Shelby counties at times.

In Celina, one of the communities with more than two inches of rain in 24 hours, residents filled sandbags Friday to protect houses.

The region will get a short chance to wring out this morning before yet more rain enters the region.

“Take advantage of the dry morning,” said said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. “Once we head into the early evening, more rain showers will return.

Those showers should clear up by Sunday morning. Sunday will be dry but breezy and remain cool with temperatures in the 50s.

Rain will return during the workweek with showers developing later in the day on Monday and the same pattern repeating on Tuesday.

Wet weather’s toll

The recent wet weather has also impacted the region in unforeseen ways.

In January, the Great Miami River was up nearly six feet, and all five of the Miami Conservancy District’s dams were storing flood waters. In February, as thousands in Montgomery County went without water, the river’s high water hampered efforts to locate a water main break, which was eventually tracked to a main buried below the river. Dayton will spend $860,000 on the repair.

MORE: Nearly $1M to fix water line behind largest outage in Dayton’s history

Increased rainfall is also causing erosion issues around roads and trails. Montgomery County recently relocated and armored an eroding stream bed that threaten Manning Road to collapse into Little Twin Creek. The Centerville-Washington Park District had to close Holes Creek Trail following some erosion issues.

MORE: Montgomery County to realign creek to save threatened road

High water in a Greene County river also helped reveal an apparent homicide this month, according to Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer.

Yellow Springs resident Lonya Clark had been missing for more than two months until his body was found along a bank of the Little Miami River near the village.

“We believe that the body was dumped east of where it was found and high waters from earlier this year carried that body downstream,” Fischer said.

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