By Melody Vallieu
Editor, Miami Valley Today
MIAMI COUNTY — Two tornadoes have been confirmed to have touched down in Miami County on Monday.
According to Kenneth Artz, director of the Miami County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), an EF2 tornado touched down in the Kessler Road area along with an EF0 tornado at State Route 721 and 49, near the county line, both in Union Township. Artz said the majority of the damage came from the EF2 tornado, while the EF0 tornado is believed to only have damaged one barn in its path and moved into Bellbrook.
“They are still working on the whole path of the (EF2) tornado,“ Myron Padgett, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wilmington said Wednesday. “The whole path won’t be an EF2, but that will be the strongest part of it.”
The tornadoes are two of 11 now confirmed events across the area.
Artz said there are four categories that measure destruction when it comes to property damage, including totally destroyed, major damage, minor damage and affected. Artz said the EMA shared photos, drone video and visited damaged sites with National Weather Service survey teams out of Wilmington on Wednesday, ultimately verifying the two tornadoes. Artz said preliminary numbers on property damage may be available as early as Thursday, but there are affected areas that still need to be visited.
Accord to a press release released by Nate Bednar, RS, emergency preparedness coordinator for Miami County Public Health, teams have documented dozens of homes and buildings that received major damage and many more that were affected by the storm.
Artz said that only one injury has been reported in Miami County as a result of the storms, and that the person was taken to UVMC for non-life threatening injuries, which he said is amazing based on the amount of damage to some of the buildings.
“It’s a miracle that people weren’t killed,” Artz said.
According to DPL’s online outage map, 220 customers in Miami County remained without power as of Wednesday evening, and Pioneer Rural Electric sent two crews to help DP&L restore power to affected customers in the area.
Many of these areas also may still be affected by downed power lines, debris and flooding, Bednar said. He said motorists must heed warning signs for road closures and avoid these areas.
Bednar said residents should not approach downed or low hanging power lines and should report them immediately to the power company. He said to also to be sure to use caution and avoid areas where trees may be damaged or weakened as the trees or branches may be unstable and unsafe.
Miami County will open a Resource Assistance Center for residents who were impacted by the storm. The Red Cross, Miami County EMA, Miami County Public Health, Miami County Job and Family Services, and Miami County Auditor will have representatives and information available to assist residents with storm recovery.
The Resource Assistance Center will be in the in the West Milton Municipal Building, 701 S. Miami St., and will be open:
Friday, May 31 — 1-7 p.m.
Saturday, June 1 — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Monday, June 3 — 1-7 p.m.
Tuesday, June 4 — 1-7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 5 — 1-7 p.m.
“We will do whatever we can to assist people,” said Artz, who said staff will answer questions, offer assistance and direct individuals during the dates. He said the resource center will be extended beyond the planned dates if necessary.
For more information and the latest updates on response and recovery efforts for the severe weather outbreak in Miami County visit the Storm Response webpage at www.miamicountyohio.gov/753/EMA.
• Other tornadoes confirmed as of Wednesday by the National Weather Service include:
EF-1 — New Madison in Darke County
EF3 — Across much of Montgomery County, including Trotwood
EF3 — Across Beavercreek Township
EF2 — Northeast Montgomery County south of Vandalia
EF0 — Southeast of Circleville (Pickaway County)
EF1 — South of Tarlton (Pickaway County)
EF2 — Near Laurelville (Hocking County)
EF3 — Celina (Mercer County)
EF0 — Taylor Creek Township (Hardin County).