A tornado touched down in Greene County on Tuesday evening causing thousands of dollars in damage to businesses and residential properties and sending two people to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The National Weather Service confirmed in its initial report that a tornado struck near the Greene Crossing Shopping Center around 5:20 p.m. — overturning cars, shattering windows, damaging roofs and exteriors of businesses, and knocking down trees and power lines in surrounding residential neighborhoods. UPDATE: Weather service confirms EF-1 tornado in Beavercreek
The most powerful image left behind by the tornado was an unoccupied blue truck in the parking lot that was carried by the storm nearly the length of a football field before crashing into the shopping center.
Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers said he expects some of the businesses in the area hit by the tornado to be open Wednesday. Dayton Power & Light, Vectren and city street crews will be “out until the matter is cleaned up in its entirety,” Evers said.
Kathy Hochwalt, who lives on Walbridge Trail, estimated the damage to her property to be about $4,000. A number of tree cutting companies drove around passing out business cards shortly after the tornado hit, she said.
“No one is hurt,” Hochwalt said. “That’s what I’m happy about.”
Residents on Walbridge were helping each other cut up tree limbs and remove them from their front yards. SEE PHOTOS
Jason Marcum, who also lives on Walbridge, said he was sitting in his garage when it “went from raindrops to a bat out of hell.” Three of his vehicles were damaged, including his wife’s new Scion, as well as his house by fallen trees.
“It goes to show you mother nature can take you any time it wants to,” Marcum said. “Nobody got hurt. That’s the most important thing.”
A severe thunderstorm warning had been issued. No tornado sirens were activated because there was no tornado warning. CHART: Which Miami Valley communities have emergency sirens
StormCenter 7’s Rich Wirdzek said the tornado was “very short-lived” based on radar images, with wind speeds reaching anywhere between 70 and 90 miles per hour.
Tuesday’s tornado occurred in the same area as an EF-3 tornado on May 8, 1969, that started in Kettering and moved through where The Greene Town Center is, Wirdzek said.
Misty Bowen was working out at Fitworks when the tornado struck. She was in the gym doing crunches when she saw a tree branch hit the front of the building and could hear trees banging against the glass.
“Everybody started running toward the back,” said Bowen, whose car had a window shattered from the storm. “Everybody was pretty calm.”
Beavercreek Capt. Eric Grile said two people from the shopping center location — “the point of origin,” he said — were transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The majority of the damage occurred in the parking lot and the neighborhood behind it, he said.
“It’s amazing with the carnage behind us that only two people suffered non-life threatening injuries,” Grile said.
There were reports of a power line down in Medway in Clark County and several power lines down in Champaign County. Other damage reported around the Miami Valley included a garage destroyed by a tree in Piqua; a large tree down across Guernsey Dell Avenue in Riverside; and a camper destroyed in New Bremen.
Wednesday’s forecast calls for the possibility of a few afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Severe weather is not expected, and temperatures are expected to be around 80.
Tuesday’s tornado comes just more than a year after an EF-3 tornado struck near Cedarville on May 14, 2014.
Staff writers Sharahn Boykin and Cornelius Frolik contributed to this story.