Short track, much damage for rare January tornadoes

NWS: Tornadoes touched down briefly in Troy, Fletcher Saturday night

Two tornadoes traveling up to 80 miles per hour hit the Troy area late Saturday night, causing extensive damage after touching down in the downtown and Fletcher areas.

The National Weather Service on Sunday confirmed two EF0 tornadoes touched down in Miami County as rain storms covered Southwest Ohio, causing damage across the region - including downtown Dayton – as wind speeds topped 80 mph in other areas.

Troy police said no injuries were reported as a preliminary investigation indicated “a weak tornado touched down on the southwest edge of the city,” according to the weather service.

“Nobody got hurt. That’s the important thing,” Troy Police Department Sgt. John Marshall said Sunday afternoon.

EARLIER: Thousands without power as strong winds whip through area

The Troy tornado lasted from 10:11 to 10:13 p.m. Saturday and hit a maximum speed of 80 mph with a path of 350 yards wide and 3.2 miles long, according to the NWS.

The one recorded in the Fletcher area started at 10:15 p.m. and lasted six minutes. Its path was 6.3 miles long, 175 yards wide and its estimated maximum wind speed was 70 miles per hour, the weather service said.

Path of tornado in Fletcher

In Troy, Marshall said three buildings near the center of downtown appeared to sustain the most damage. Those areas have been taped off “so debris will not fall on pedestrians as they walk by,” he said.

Parts of roofs were blown off two buildings while the brick facade to a third was damaged, Marshall said.

No damage estimates were available Sunday, officials said.

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The first tornado “crossed the city center and the Great Miami River before lifting on the northeast edge of the city,” the NWS said.

“Much of the damage surveyed was confined to trees and roofs, both residential and commercial,” the weather service said late Sunday afternoon. “In particular, areas near the Troy High School and then along and along and east of North Market Street saw the most concentrated and higher end structural damage to roofing material.”

“Sporadic damage” occurred in a northeast direction, crossing the south side of Fletcher - which is northeast of Troy - and ending near the intersection of Burr Oak-New Hope Road and Snyder Road, according to the NWS.

The Fletcher area damage “consisted mainly of broken and snapped off trees, and roof damage to barns and outbuildings. Snapped electrical poles were assessed on the east side of Fletcher,” the weather service stated.

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Troy insurance agent Michael Close said that he had been visiting his clients in the downtown area, checking to make sure they were all right and that they had a place to stay.

Close said that earlier Saturday night, he helped a friend rescue cats from a damaged building, and talked about how strong the smell of natural gas had been in the downtown area.

He also said that this was a hard night for everyone.

“Downtown Troy’s always been a sanctuary,” he said. “….And everybody in town knows that.”

Close noted: “It’s a very rough night. For everybody.”

Widespread power outages were reported as wind recordings in Southwest Ohio Saturday night ranged from 46 miles per hour in Warren County to as high as 83 mph at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, according to the weather service’s Wilmington office.

The Dayton International Airport had wind speeds of 47 miles per hour, and property damage was reported across Greene and Montgomery counties.

RELATED: Strong winds peel off roof of warehouse

Nearly 8,000 DP&L customers were without power overnight Sunday, but that number was fewer than 1,000 by late Sunday afternoon, according to the utility’s website.

The severe weather Saturday night prompted the closing of the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority’s Wright Stop Plaza in downtown.

The RTA announced on Twitter the plaza would remain closed until Sunday afternoon.

Also in Dayton, high winds pulled the roof off a warehouse leased by Mooney and Moses Insulation on West Washington Street on Saturday night.

Joe Griffin, who works at the warehouse, said he arrived Sunday morning before it was light out and noticed the lights were not on in the building and there were wires down in the area.

As it got lighter, he started to see more damage to the building.

“I noticed the roof had been peeled off,” he said. “The whole roof was gone. They just put this roof up about a month ago.”

The forecast for today Monday calls for sunshine with a few clouds. Highs will near 50 degrees.

On Tuesday, clouds will increase with a slight chance of a stray shower south. It will be warm again for this time of year with highs in the upper 50s.

RELATED: Overnight storms, strong winds cause damage across Miami Valley

High winds cause heavy damage in Troy
iWitness 7: Damage to downtown Troy due to high winds

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