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Update: One fatality has been reported. An 81-year-old man named Melvin Delhanna died when his car was blown into his home in Celina, Ohio. The City of Dayton issued a boil water advisory for water customers in all of Dayton and Montgomery Counties. (11:41, May 28, 2019)
A line of tornadoes crossed Indiana and Ohio last night, so close together that one crossed through the path of another. This morning, 5 million are without power. Towns outside of Dayton, Ohio were the hardest hit. The damage is nothing short of catastrophic.
The AP reports:
The National Weather Service tweeted Monday night that a “large and dangerous tornado” hit near Trotwood, Ohio, 8 miles (12 kilometers) northwest of Dayton. Several apartment buildings were damaged or destroyed.
Just before midnight, not 40 minutes after that tornado cut through, the weather service tweeted that another one was traversing its path, churning up debris densely enough to be seen on radar…
…In Indiana, at least 75 homes were damaged in Pendleton and the nearby community of Huntsville, said Madison County Emergency Management spokesman Todd Harmeson. No serious injuries were reported in the area or other parts of the state.
Madison County authorities said roads in Pendleton, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis, are blocked with trees, downed power lines and utility poles. (source)
Many of the places where people took shelter were hit hard by the tornadoes and officials are going door to door looking for people who may be trapped in the rubble. (Here’s how to survive a tornado if you’re at home, in your car, or out and about.)
This tweet shows one of the massive tornadoes approaching in the distance.
Recovery efforts have already begun.
Utilities are out for the immediate future.
At least 5 million people are without power during the current heat wave and Dayton Power and Light said residents should expect a “multi-day restoration effort.” And because the power is out to the water plants and pumping stations, Dayton residents are urged to conserve water. (Here’s how to survive a hot-weather power outage.)
The Ohio Department of Transportation has dispatched snowplows to help remove rubble from Highway 75 and city streets according to spokesperson Matt Bruning.
Trying to clear the debris in the middle of the night is a difficult task, complicated by darkness and downed power lines, Bruning said.
“We’ll do a more thorough cleaning after we get lanes opened,” he told The Associated Press by text early Tuesday, noting that tow trucks would have to haul off damaged vehicles along the roadway, too. (source)
Here are some photos people took of the swath of destruction.
This massive tornado touched down in Dayton, Ohio (via Daily Mail)
Widespread damage from the outskirts of Dayton (via Daily Mail)
What appears to be a vehicle on Highway 75 (via Daily Mail)
The side of this apartment building was ripped off (via Daily Mail)
Currently, there are no reports of fatalities. The National Guard has been deployed and first responders are searching the rubble for survivors. In Beavercreek, just outside of Dayton, there are mandatory evacuation orders. 911 has been overwhelmed with calls for help.
No number has been released yet of people injured in the tornadoes. Homes, apartment complexes, businesses, and schools have been completely destroyed. (Here’s what it’s like after your home is hit by a tornado.)
Tenley Taghi was in tears as she filmed what was left of her family’s home. Taghi, who said there were no sirens before the tornado hit, told WDTN that a light pole fell through her home and injured her father, who was pulled out by firefighters. Taghi was in disbelief seeing what had happened to her home, saying repeatedly in her video, “Our house is gone. Oh my God.”
“I saw the clouds spin backwards, and the trees began to sway uncontrollably, and we took shelter,” she told WDTN. “I was standing on the porch that is no longer standing. We took shelter right as the storm hit.” (source)
People were in fear for their lives when the tornadoes hit.
Nathan Mann of Trotwood told WDTN that he took cover once he heard the sirens in his area, proceeding to his basement. He compared the scene Monday night to something “out of a movie.” He said he pretty much tied himself to a pole “and hoped to God that nothing would hurt me.” He texted his wife, thinking that he was going to die.
“It felt like someone picked my house up and set it back down,” he said. “When it was over, I couldn’t believe what I saw.” (source)
Locals are comparing the aftermath to a “war zone.”
Frightening video of aftermath of tornado in Dayton sent to us by a viewer. She says it’s off Troy Street. Many viewers have said the damage looks like a war zone… @ABC22FOX45 #daytontornado pic.twitter.com/X8fjz8Pk47
— Adam Aaro (@Adam247Now) May 28, 2019
Have you ever been in a place that suffered this kind of catastrophic damage?
This devastating event will chalk up millions of dollars in insurance claims. Have you ever been somewhere that suffered damage like this from a natural disaster? Please share your stories in the comments.