COLUMBUS (WCMH) — On Apr. 3, 2018, Grove City and Jackson Township residents were getting a better look at the damage caused by a rain-wrapped tornado that cut a swath of damage up to 75 yards wide that extended for 2.6 miles in southwestern Franklin County.
The EF1 tornado, with maximum winds of 105 mph estimated by the National Weather Service survey team, struck during the height of the afternoon rush hour the day before, as a cluster of powerful thunderstorms tracked across Madison and Franklin counties.
Fortunately there were no injuries, even as the storm brushed past Grove City Church of the Nazarene, where 100 people were inside, including children in the attached school.
Four large utility poles were snapped along Orders Road, where the storm struck first around 5:40 p.m.. Many townhouses sustained roof and wall damage, with garage doors pushed in and windows broken. Shingles and siding were torn off home, and a garage was lifted off the foundation.
The tornado moved northeast over Hoover Road, eventually lifting just south of Stringtown Road, after crossing I-71 and lifting back into the clouds. Trees were splintered and homes were damaged by flying debris. AEP reported that power was knocked out to 8,500 customers. A number of businesses were left in the dark after power poles were toppled. Hoover Road remained closed for a week.
Weaker tornadoes were also reported southwest of London, damaging several barns, and in Greene (EF1), Clark (EF0) and Perry (EF0) counties. Columbus had a record daily rainfall of 1.95 inches on Apr. 2, 2018, measured at John Glenn Columbus International Airport.
Tornadoes are not rare in the Columbus area. A fast-moving EF1 storm hit Bexley in the predawn hours of Sept. 26, 2018, with winds reaching 90 mph over a path length of 3.75 miles, causing roof, siding and tree damage, and lifting the roof off two cinder block garages. On June 4, 2016, a weak tornado caused minor damage in northeast Columbus.