PHOTOS: Drone pictures of Mercer County tornado damage; NWS confirms tornado touched down

Weather

MERCER COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — The Van Wert County Emergency Management Agency posted photos of the damage caused by the tornado that tore through Mercer County Friday.

The drone photos show damage to what appears to be a farm in Fort Recovery.

The National Weather Service confirmed the F2 tornado touched down at 4:12 p.m. Friday and stayed on the ground for about 13 minutes.

There were no injuries reported from the storm.

The NWS estimated the top wind speed to be 115 miles per hour. The tornado’s path was 5.7 miles long and the maximum width of the tornado was 200 yards.

The NWS narrative of the storm is as follows:

THE FIRST SIGN OF TORNADIC DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED JUST EAST OF THE INDIANA/OHIO STATE LINE. TREES WERE SNAPPED ALONG PARK ROAD, INDICATIVE OF EF0 TORNADO DAMAGE. THE TORNADO THEN MOVED SOUTHEAST, AND MAY HAVE BRIEFLY LIFTED, BEFORE TOUCHING BACK DOWN AND LEAVING A NOTICEABLE SWIRL IN A WHEAT FIELD BETWEEN ST JOE ROAD AND WABASH ROAD. THE TORNADO INTENSIFIED AS IT MOVED ACROSS WABASH ROAD, IMPACTING THE FORT RECOVERY LUMBER YARD. MULTIPLE ROOFS WERE COMPLETELY LIFTED OFF SEVERAL OUTBUILDINGS. ADDITIONALLY, A COLLAPSED CINDER BLOCK WALL WAS OBSERVED AT THE FORT RECOVERY LUMBER YARD. THIS WAS CONSISTENT WITH EF1 DAMAGE. THE TORNADO THEN CONTINUED MOVING SOUTHEAST THROUGH WOODED AREAS BETWEEN WABASH ROAD AND FORT RECOVERY-MINSTER ROAD. HARDWOOD TREE DAMAGE WAS NOTED IN THE WOODED AREAS.

AFTER CROSSING FORT RECOVERY-MINSTER ROAD, PARTIAL REMOVAL OF AN OUTBUILDING ROOF WAS NOTED ALONG WITH TREE DAMAGE. MORE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE THEN BECAME APPARENT AS THE TORNADO CONTINUED SOUTHEAST IMPACTING THE BURRVILLE ROAD/HART ROAD AREA. MULTIPLE HOMES ALONG BURRVILLE ROAD SUSTAINED SUBSTANTIAL ROOF DAMAGE INCLUDING TOTAL REMOVAL OF OVER HALF THE ROOF OF A SINGLE FAMILY HOME. THE SURVEY TEAM ALSO NOTED COMPLETELY DESTROYED OUTBUILDINGS, THE REMOVAL OF ATTACHED GARAGES, SUBSTANTIAL TREE DAMAGE, AND PROJECTILES EMBEDDED WITHIN AN EXTERIOR WALL. SEVERAL WOOD POWER POLES ALONG BURRVILLE ROAD WERE ALSO COMPLETELY BROKEN. DEBRIS FROM BURRVILLE ROAD WAS THROWN APPROXIMATELY A HALF MILE TOWARD WOURMS ROAD. IN ADDITION, THE TORNADO PRODUCED DAMAGE ALONG WOURMS ROAD, WHICH INCLUDED MORE BROKEN WOOD POWER POLES. THE WOODED AREA ALONG WOURMS ROAD ALSO EXHIBITED THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TREE DAMAGE, WHERE NUMEROUS HARDWOOD TREES WERE SNAPPED OR KNOCKED OVER. DAMAGE ALONG BURRVILLE ROAD AND WOURMS ROAD WAS CONSISTENT WITH LOW END EF2 DAMAGE, WITH MAXIMUM WINDS OF AROUND 115 MPH.

THE TORNADO SEEMED TO RAPIDLY WEAKEN AS IT MOVED SOUTHEAST TO FOX ROAD AND MEIRING ROAD. THE ONLY DAMAGE SEEN WAS MINOR DAMAGE TO AN OUTBUILDING AND PARTIAL REMOVAL OF THE TOP OF A SILO. NO ADDITIONAL DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED TO THE SOUTHEAST OF THIS AREA.

National Weather Service

This was the first of two confirmed tornadoes that touched down in western Ohio during Friday’storms. The second was an FE1 which touched down in Montgomery and Butler counties at approximately 8:38 p.m. These are the first two tornadoes to touchdown in Ohio in 2021.

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