Storm damage serious for Vandalia homes and businesses

City crews still were hauling away debris left by the Halloween night storm, but Vandalia “is beginning to get back to normal,” city communications manager Rich Hopkins said Monday.

Dayton Power & Light Co. reported that power had been restored by Saturday night to everyone affected by the windstorm, “Except for nine homes determined by Vandalia city building inspectors to be unsafe for habitation. Power for those homes will not be restored until necessary repairs are made.”

The city of more than 15,200 in northern Montgomery County was hit the hardest when wind and rain raced through southwest Ohio late Thursday, spawning an EF 1 tornado (winds of 86 to 110 miles per hour). Another tornado, in northeast Miami County, was confirmed by the National Weather Service.

B Jay's Drive Through on East National Road was destroyed and Fricker's restaurant and bar east of I-75 on Foley Drive was heavily damaged. Ten people were injured. Two were treated and released at Good Samaritan Hospital.

“There were a ton of downed lines, some of them wrapped around tree limbs,” said Hopkins, who added that city crews worked around the clock from midnight Thursday to midnight Friday. The tornado touched down at about 11:30 p.m.

“This morning when I drove around the neighborhood that had the worst of it, I saw a lady in her robe and slippers, sipping her coffee while watching the front-end loader pick up the limbs and branches in front of her home,” Hopkins said.

“When something like this happens, you always hope people will pitch in and help each other. That’s the way our residents and workers responded. It’s a big reason why we’re in better shape as we start this week.”

In Oakwood, three homes and two cars were damaged by fallen trees.

“We did get hit, but all things considered, it was minor,” said city council member Rob Stephens, who owns an insurance business in Oakwood.