The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down Wednesday night near West Milton and Tipp City in Miami County as storms moved through the area.
Multiple news outlets reported that the tornado, which had not yet been rated Thursday morning, caused significant damage to a Meijer distribution center along South County Road 25A in Tipp City, about 75 miles away. west of Columbus.
Tornado in Ohio: Damaged Tipp City Meijer installation. See photos, videos here.
“That appears to be what happened,” Scott Hickman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office, said Thursday. “We will be going out and doing a survey today to examine the damage and assess the tornado.”
Joel Smith, director of the Miami County Emergency Management Agency, said the tornado partially destroyed the roof of Meijer’s distribution center and collapsed a wall.
Three industrial facilities at Industry Park Court also suffered significant damage, Smith said, adding that no “major damage” was reported in nearby residential areas.
As of Thursday morning, there were no reports of injury, loss or life, according to Smith.
“A big story at the de Meijer facility is that they heeded the advance warning and got everyone into their safe zones before the tornado hit the facility,” Smith said. “I estimated around 100 people were there. Early action would probably have saved lives.”
The tornado was part of a storm system that swept through much of southwestern and central Ohio on Wednesday night and produced damaging winds.
The National Weather Service’s Wilmington office said in a statement around 10 p.m. Wednesday that it had received “numerous” reports of damage, in addition to several reports and photos of other possible tornadoes.
“We’re trying to catch up with the team members this morning to figure out how we’re going to get out there and inspect those areas, including Tipp City,” Hickman said. “It can be a multi-day event. It might not all happen in one day.”
As of Thursday morning, the National Weather Service had confirmed that damage from Wednesday’s storms occurred in southeast Darke County, south of Pitsburg; Clark County, near Lawrenceville; County of Brown, near Sardinia; and Hocking County, near South Bloomingville.
If you have observed weather-related damage, please report it to the National Weather Service via severe weather reporting methods, social media or by calling 937-383-0031.
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