Tornadoes peaked at 120 mph; two had paths more than a dozen miles long

National Weather Service says some debris was found “several miles” away

The National Weather Service on Friday released more details about this week’s tornadoes, showing the wind speed of one funnel hit 120 miles per hour, and two of the tornadoes had paths more than a dozen miles long.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 tornado in Miami County, EF1 tornadoes in Clark and Darke counties and an EF0 tornado in Champaign County on Wednesday. The storms resulted in miles of damage, but no injuries were reported.

Miami County tornado

The tornado that topped out as an EF2 started much milder, touching down in farmland just west of West Milton around 5:53 p.m., according to a survey by NWS and the Miami County Emergency Management Agency.

The tornado caused only minor tree damage for the first few miles, but as it approached Tipp City, it strengthened to EF1 level, damaging utility poles and homes near West Kessler-Cowlesville Road and Peters Road, according to NWS.

The storm then surged to EF2 level, peeling back part of the roof of the Meijer Distribution Center and collapsing one of the giant facility’s walls, just west of I-75. The tornado crossed the highway and also flipped cars and damaged commercial buildings about three-quarters of a mile east of I-75.

“The damage in this area was consistent with wind speeds of around 120 mph,” according to NWS. An EF2 tornado is classified as “strong” with estimated three-second wind gusts of 111 to 135 mph.

NWS officials said building insulation from the industrial park facilities was found several miles from where it was initially lofted.

Once the tornado crossed the Great Miami River, its intensity decreased and it is believed to have lifted just south of the Elizabeth Twp. Community Center on Walnut Grove-Clark County Road.

The tornado’s path was 13.9 miles long, and reached 150 yards across at its widest, according to NWS.

Darke County tornado

The EF1 tornado confirmed in Darke County touched down around 5:42 p.m. just east of the village of Gordon, in farm fields to the west of Schnorf-Jones Road. That storm’s path was only about 2.5 miles, with an estimated maximum wind speed of 100 mph and a path width of 125 yards, according to NWS.

The tornado touched down around 5:42 p.m. in farm fields west of Schnorf-Jones Road and heavily damaged one farm’s barns and outbuildings. Damage was consistent with winds speeds of 100, NWS said. The tornado then went east, weakened a bit and hit another farm, causing roof damage to several barns before lifting in a field east of Ohio 49.

Both EF1 and EF0 tornadoes are considered “weak” and have estimated wind gusts of 86 to 110 mph for EF1, and 65 to 85 mph for EF0.

Clark County tornado

The second EF1 was confirmed in Clark County and started around 6:23 p.m., two miles southwest of North Hampton. It reached an estimated maximum wind speed of 90 mph and maximum path width of 200 yards, according to NWS. The tornado path was 17.1 miles, and it ended three miles northwest of South Vienna.

The tornado started as an EF0, causing minor tree and outbuilding damage near Liberty Road before moving east and damaging a barn near Ebersole Road. It strengthened into an EF1 tornado as it moved through neighborhoods along Ballentine Pike, Delrey Road and Fox Hollow Road.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

“Hundreds of trees were snapped or uprooted along this section of the path and several homes suffered damage due to partial uplift,” according to NWS.

It continued east, damaging trees at the Springfield Country Club, before causing outbuilding damage at the Edgewood Farms neighborhood. The tornado uprooted multiple large trees along the main drive of Buck Creek State Park, causing the main entrance to close.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office received numerous calls in regard to downed power lines on Johnson Road, Fox Hollow Road, Shrine Road, Ballentine Pike and Upper Valley Pike in German Twp., as well as Balsam Drive and North Fountain Avenue in Springfield.

A barn and home on Mahar Road in Moorefield Twp. also saw damage, with structural damage made to the windows and walls, according to the sheriff’s office. Trees also fell into homes on Woodthrush Road and Deer Run Road.

Other tornadoes

The EF0 tornado in Champaign County started around 6:42 p.m., four miles north of downtown Urbana and ended in Wayne Twp. near where Dog Leg Road crosses Kings Creek. It reach an estimated maximum wind speed of 85 mph and maximum path width of 150 yards, according to NWS. The path traveled 4.6 miles.

The initial damage was reported on West Herr Road near U.S. 68. Large branches were snapped and a home had four large trees downed, according to NWS. The home also had siding ripped from an unattached garage.

Near Kennard-Kingscreek Road and Game Farm Road trees were snapped at the trunk, a barn door was ripped from a barn and a shed rolled onto its side.

The tornado continued east toward Kennard- Kingscreek Road, where a barn roof completely caved in and a support wall was thrown 15 yards, according to NWS. It then went down North Ludlow Road and South Kennard Road, where metal roofing was lifted from a barn.

The damage came to an end near a treeline off Dog Leg Road where branches were snapped and trees were uprooted.

Outside the Dayton area, there was an EF0 tornado in Brown County southeast of Cincinnati, and an EF2 tornado was confirmed in Hocking County southeast of Columbus.

The Brown County EF0 tornado happened in the village of Sardinia, mostly damaging or in some cases uprooting trees.

In Hocking County, the NWS said the tornado occurred in the southwest, beginning near the entrance to Tar Hollow State Park on state Rout 327. Again significant damage was done to the trees, in one area leaving a “wide swath” of trees snapped and uprooted, and in another the tornado caused a “near-total decimation of the tree canopy, including some spots where virtually every tree was snapped or uprooted” that was four tenths of a mile wide.

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