Meteorologists: Tornados Touch Down in Northwest Ohio

June 2, 2008

Two of the three tornadoes traveling through northwest Ohio early Saturday destroyed homes and left a path of debris, meteorologists said.

The National Weather Service said one tornado with winds up to 130 mph touched down just south of the city of Arcadia in Hancock County. It moved northeast into the town of Fostoria in Seneca County before dissipating.

The tornado was on the ground for about 15 minutes and covered a swath of almost eight miles. Meteorologist Frank Kieltyka said the twister took out entire floors in two-story homes and ripped roofs off ranch homes.

No injuries were reported.

Jamie Cook, 27, of Fostoria, took shelter in the basement of her two-story home with her infant son as an uprooted tree crashed into it.

A dozen homes were destroyed in Hancock County’s Washington Township, said Fire Chief Bob Hill.

“We had one gentleman and his wife where the house came down around him,” Hill said. “They came out with just some bumps and scratches.”

Hill said the community was helping neighbors who were displaced by the tornado.

“I’ve got a lot of people helping neighbors,” he said. “At one I counted 45 people in just one home helping.”

A second tornado also touched down early Saturday in Putnam County, just north and west of the town of Glandorf, the National Weather Service said Saturday evening. The tornado had winds up to 110 mph was a quarter-mile wide at its widest, said Michael Lewis of the service’s northern Indiana office.

About eight homes and one business were damaged or destroyed and several roads have been closed due to debris, officials said.

Rural areas in Greensburg Township suffered the worst damage from the area’s tornado, said Josh Walters of the Putnam County Emergency Management Agency.

Friends and neighbors began arriving at dawn with rakes and chain saws to help clear the mess along Road 13-I. At one point, there were about 100 people taking part in Saturday’s clean up, resident Mark Schroeder said.

“It does make my job easier because we don’t have to bring in volunteers from outside the area,” Walters said. “A lot of our folks out here have some sort of farming background. They’re used to buckling down and getting to work.”

No one was injured, but Schroeder’s 150-year-old family farmhouse was destroyed, as was his brother’s home just down the road.

About 20 people in the county took shelter with friends and family. Some houses lost power when an electrical utility was destroyed in the storm.

A third tornado touched down late Friday or early Saturday with speeds of 85 mph in Adams County, Ind., then traveled across into Ohio’s Van Wert County for a half-mile before dissipating, the National Weather Service said.

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