For second time in recent weeks, communities clean up from tornado damage

For the second time in less than three weeks, area homeowners and volunteers spent a Saturday cleaning up homes and buildings damaged or destroyed by a tornado — this time from at least eight that touched down in Ohio late Thursday.

People in Darke, Logan, Mercer and Miami counties were finding debris from their homes hundreds of yards away scattered through fields, yards and on neighbors’ properties.

On Feb. 28, strong storms produced tornados that did heavy damage in Montgomery, Greene and Clark counties and other parts of Ohio. Some homeowners from those storms continue to make repairs.

Damage estimates for structures from Thursday’s storms were still coming in Saturday, but Emergency Management Agencies in Miami and Darke counties reported eight homes or buildings were destroyed by an EF-2 tornado with estimated winds of 130 mph that first touched down in Indiana.

The tornado traveled along the U.S. 36 corridor in Darke County and entered Miami County north of the village of Bradford. It proceeded through Miami County eastward through Newberry Township and north of the village of Covington. The tornado appears to have lifted before impacting the city of Piqua, according to the Darke County EMA.

“Can’t compliment the county and township crews enough. They worked as they should together. And we had deputies in the track of the storm checking on people,” Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said. “We are blessed that there were no reports of injuries.””

In Logan County surrounding Indian Lake, the damage was more extensive from an EF-3 tornado that touched down destroying several neighborhoods, injuring at least 20 people and leaving three dead. EMA officials in Logan County expect to have damage estimates in coming days.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

EF-3 tornado has windspeeds of 136-165 mph and are considered strong.

In Logan County, EMA officials were asking volunteers to check in with them before entering properties or helping strangers.

“Those wishing to volunteer in the upcoming days and weeks can leave their name or business name and number with a detailed message of what service you can provide at the United Way of Logan County at 937-592-2886,” a message said.

Late Friday night, the Logan County Sheriff said, “Search and rescue have been completed. We are beginning to move into the Recovery Phase with the help of select agencies. The area is still very dangerous. We urge caution to everyone. Damage assessments will begin tomorrow and we anticipate sharing that information once it is complete.”

“The Logan County Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide extra patrol for the foreseeable future. Please, if you are not a resident and do not need to be in the area we ask that you avoid the area.”

Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted traveled to Logan County to view the tornado damage.

“Our hearts go out to all the families who are trying to put things back together and to the families of those who have died,” DeWine said. “I’m always amazed at the resilience of the people of Ohio. It’s absolutely amazing to me. This Indian Lake community will come back. That’s the message I got from everyone I talked with today.”

Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick said at a Friday press conference damage is being assessed to determine what kind of aid the Logan County community can receive and if an emergency declaration is warranted.

Holley Milroy, who lives near downtown Lakeview, said she heard the first tornado for five minutes before it hit and she went outside thinking it wouldn’t hit her area. She then went back inside before deciding to look outside again.

“I looked up and you could see it, just like a big black cloud and you could see shingles and stuff moving, just like you see on TV,” Milroy told the Springfield News-Sun on Friday. “I turned around and ran into my closet and then it hit and ... I was texting with people and I said ‘I think it’s over’ because then I heard hail and I stepped out and I heard it again ... so I ran back in and I thought, ‘It’s not over yet.’”

In Darke County, the EMA estimated, using FEMA damage categories, five properties were destroyed, 15 received major damage, 18 minor damage and 15 were affected.

“We are working with the Darke County Solid Waste District to share resources for property owners as the clean-up is underway,” an EMA release said.

The most significantly area impacted in Miami County is in the vicinity of Klinger Road and Rangeline Road, according to the Miami County EMA, which assessed total damage to 24 properties: three destroyed, one four-unit apartment complex with major damage, six residential properties with minor’ damage, and 15 affected properties.

Jennifer Jordan’s home and barn on Klinger Road were heavily damage, but was still thankful.

“Our neighbors, one (to the west) and one behind us, experienced a total loss,” Jordan told the Dayton Daily News on Friday.

In Ohio, this week is Severe Weather Awareness week where schools and other emergency agencies practice safety protocols in case of future storms.

Sunday will be mostly sunny and chilly, with highs around 49 degrees and light winds.

It will be partly cloudy and cold overnight, as temperatures drop below freezing to around 27 degrees.

Monday will begin with a slight chance of snow showers that will mix with a chance of rain in the afternoon. It will also be breezy with increasing clouds and gusts as high as 29 mph.

Clouds will dip on Monday night, and temperature will drop down below freezing again to a low around 26 degrees.

Reporters Aimee Hancock and Jessica Orozco contributed to this story.

How to help

The United Way of Logan County has a Tornado Relief Fund set up at

For more information on the fund and community response, visit

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