Residents clean up heavy damage after 2 tornadoes hit Clark County

The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes hit western Clark County, leaving residents cleaning up significant damage on Thursday but no injuries were reported.

Both were classified as EF0 tornadoes with wind speeds that range from 65 to 85 miles per hour. One twister was in Enon and the other six miles west of Springfield.

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Parts of Clark County and the surrounding area experienced high winds, hail, heavy rain, lightning and thunder on Wednesday evening, WHIO Stormcenter 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs.

The Clark County Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service went around the county Thursday morning to look at the reported damage, said Lisa D’Allessandris, director of the Clark County Emergency Management Agency.

The Enon/Mad River, Bethel Twp., New Carlisle Pike and German Twp. reported significant damage, she said. That included trees uprooted, fallen limbs and roofs blown off.

The cost of damage from the recent severe weather hasn’t been determined, according to D’Allessandris. It’s also too early to tell if disaster assistance will be needed for the county, she said.

A barn was destroyed and a home damaged along Dayton-Springfield Road southwest of Enon. That damage was the result of a tornado, the National Weather Service said.

TORNADO DETAILS: NWS confirms 2 tornadoes in Clark County

The winds were strong enough that they moved two combines there, blew in a garage door inward and lifted off large sections of the roofs, according to a weather service report.

Other homes saw some damage but that was the result of straight-line winds, the report says.

The Legge family owns the farm on Dayton-Springfield Road that was damaged in the storm. They called it unreal.

“We’ve had storms but this is the worst we’ve had,” Joy Legge said.

Her family spent Thursday cleaning up. Wood and metal debris covered the yard Thursday morning, a combine was covered with planks and the foundation of the home appeared to be shifted. A trampoline was toppled over.

Legge’s happy that the damage wasn’t worse.

“Things are replaceable, people aren’t,” she said.

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Tanya Voorhees lives in New Carlisle and also cleaned up damage Thursday. They had a trampoline blown over a barn and their patio furniture ended up in the middle of the road.

“We saw the whole cycle of what I would say is a tornado in the back of our house just spinning,” she said.

Her family was safe though.

“We were all down there holding hands just praying. God just keep us all safe,” she said. “Let everything else go but us.”

Vrydaghs said several factors contributed to Wednesday’s storm.

“First of all, we had an area of low pressure approaching from the west and it was a strong, potent area of low pressure. It brought strong winds in direction and speed,” she said. “Strong wind all in one direction is indicative of straight-line winds. When we look at it in the vertical, when we see wind changing in height … in the end that could create a tornado.”

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A warm front also pushed in some warm air, Vrydaghs said, allowing the storms to feed off of it.

“When you have sunshine on a day when you are expecting storms it creates what we call instability … more instability the stronger the storms could be,” she said.

None of the tornado sirens in Clark County, including in Enon, sounded during the severe weather Wednesday. That’s because the National Weather Service didn’t issue a tornado warning, D’Allessandris said.

The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base sounded its alarms based on its meteorologists’ observations.

Severe weather is over, but Vrydaghs said to expect the unexpected today.

“Because there is still some precipitation around, we will have cold enough temperatures that will change rain showers into snow showers,” she said.

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The Springfield News-Sun digs into important public safety issues, including recent stories on efforts to widen Interstate 70 and the use of tornado sirens in Clark County.

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