The National Weather Service in Wilmington has confirmed that two tornadoes touched down in Pickaway County, south of Circleville and near Laurelville, which also caused damage in Hocking County.
Weather service survey teams are still assessing the nature and length of the storm damage, and strength of the tornadoes.
Two powerful EF3 tornadoes have also been confirmed in the Dayton area that caused heavy damage in Trotwood, Montgomery County, and Beavercreek, Greene County.
A deadly EF3 tornado also struck Celina. The NWS in Pittsburgh confirmed an EF1 tornado struck Roseville, Ohio–south of Zanesville.
The tornado outbreak that began in Iowa Monday afternoon with supercell thunderstorms spread rapidly east ahead of a disturbance moving through the Great Lakes, with storms firing along a boundary on the leading edge of warm, moist and unstable air.
The online National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center lists at least nine suspected tornadoes touched down in Ohio, 14 in Indiana, four in Illinois, six in Iowa, and three in Minnesota.
More than 40 injuries have been reported in the Ohio storms, and one storm-related death occurred in Celina, when a car crashed into the home of an 81-year-old resident.
The Ohio Department of Transportation closed U.S. 23 southbound between Venture Road and Thompson Road near Circleville due to downed power lines in an area where two overturned semis were reported as the storm moved just south of the downtown.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine planned to tour communities hard-hit by tornadoes in the Dayton area, including the Dayton suburb of Trotwood. Mayor Mary McDonald reports extensive, “catastrophic damage.” She says no deaths or serious injuries have been reported: “We’re blessed for that.”
She said five busloads of displaced residents have been taken to a church offering temporary shelter while the American Red Cross assesses needs. She says the community is getting a lot of help and support from federal, state, and local agencies, adding that “we need that level of support.”
Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning said its crews used several plows to scrape debris off to the side of southbound Interstate 75, trying to get the highway reopened as soon as possible.
“We’ll do a more thorough cleaning after we get lanes opened,” he told the Associated Press via text early Monday. He said tow trucks eventually will have to deal with damaged vehicles along the roadway, too.
He said other crews are also clearing debris northwest of Dayton in Mercer and Darke counties.
Trying to clear the debris in the middle of the night is a difficult task, complicated by darkness and downed power lines, Bruning said.
In Montgomery County, Sheriff Rob Streck is asking people to stay off the roads in areas affected by the storm. His office said many roads in those areas are impassable because of damage. Both the city and the county have set up a command center at Fire Station 72.
There are power lines and trees down around the city as well.
Tenley Taghi said her father was injured when a light pole fell through their house. Firefighters extracted him from the home. She said the street is destroyed.
Taghi said there were no tornado sirens before they were hit.
“I saw the clouds spin backwards and the trees began to sway uncontrollably, and we took shelter. I was standing on the porch that is no longer standing. We took shelter right as the storm hit,” said Taghi.