- Tornadoes hit Ohio late on Monday, blowing away houses and leaving almost 80,000 people without power.
- One mayor said her town looked like a “war zone,” and seven people were injured in one county alone.
- Officials say it is too early to know the extent of the damage, but warned about ongoing risks like weakened buildings that could collapse.
- The Red Cross has opened shelters while emergency crews perform search and rescue operations.
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Multiple tornadoes ripped through Ohio, blowing houses away, injuring at least seven people, and leaving almost 80,000 people without power.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said the tornadoes hit Dayton, Ohio, and surrounding areas late on Monday, including one that it described as “large and dangerous.”
The tornadoes crossed each other’s paths, creating so much debris that crews turned to snow plows to clear the roads on Tuesday morning.
In Wilmington, Ohio, the NWS urged people to “take cover now” on Monday night. It said that debris was “being lofted into the air by a tornado” and urged people to take cover.
The NWS branch said on Tuesday morning that just under 80,000 customers experienced power outages.
The City of Dayton on Facebook urged people to conserve water because it had lost power to water plants and pump stations. “First Responders are performing search and rescue operations and debris clearing,” it said.
In Celina, a town north of Dayton, the mayor said some areas looked “like a war zone.”
— Rachel Aragon (@RachelFOX45Now) May 28, 2019
Mayor Jeffrey Hazel told NBC affiliate WDTN: “Some of the houses were completely moved off their foundations and gone.”
Officials said on Tuesday morning that they did not yet know how many homes, businesses, or buildings had been destroyed, and warned of ongoing threats like gas leaks and weakened buildings that could fall.
Officials from Mercer County, where Celina is located, told NBC News that at least seven people had been brought to hospital with injuries from the storm.
A reporter with local Fox 45 Now shared footage from a resident, which shows destroyed buildings and debris littering the roadside:
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 (@AdamFox45Now) May 28, 2019
Adam Clements, an anchor with Cincinnati outlet WKRC, shared images of destroyed houses, saying: “‘ve never seen damage like this before. This is unbelievable.”
— Adam Clements (@AClementsWKRC) May 28, 2019
And Alexis Moberger, a reporter with local ABC affiliate WSYX, shared images of damaged businesses.
— Alexis Moberger (@alexiswsyx6) May 28, 2019
Tornadoes also touched down in Indiana, where the National Weather Service is about to inspect the damage.
Ohio’s Department of Transportation said that it was clearing debris from roads, and asked people to avoid certain roads to “give them and emergency crews room to work.”
The Red Cross has opened shelters for those affected by the tornadoes.
The NWS said it will be “conducting damage surveys for the next few days.”