Tornadoes rip through Darke County


By Ryan Berry

DARKE COUNTY — Darke County residents have begun cleaning up after storms producing tornadoes tore through the county on Thursday night. Tornado warning sirens from the northern part of the county to the southern part of the county and everywhere in between were sounding for more than a half hour as a storm cell began producing unconfirmed tornadoes. The same storm cell damaged homes and businesses from Winchester, Ind. to Mechanicsburg. There are reports that the storm was deadly in some areas of its path.

The tornadoes left destruction from Union City to Bradford in Darke County. Our media partner at WHIO TV, was reporting through the evening that the storm system that came through Darke County began producing tornadoes in Randolph County between Winchester and Union City, Ind. That continued as it crossed the state line.

Sheriff Mark Whittaker said his office received reports of funnel clouds and a possible tornado on the ground in the area of State Route 571 east of Union City around 8:15 p.m. Fifteen minutes later, the Sheriff’s office began receive multiple calls reporting structural damage to trailers, homes and other structures.

Whittaker also said there were reports of injuries and entrapments.

The path seemed to follow State Route 571 with damage reports coming from Fisher-Dangler, Fox and Cox Roads west of Greenville. After crossing north of Greenville, the storm followed a path along Horatio-Harris Creek Road with damage visible at the corner of State Route 121 and Horatio-Harris Creek Road. Martin Road, east of Horatio, was closed with a tree blocking the roadway.

According to Sheriff Whittaker, first responders searched houses and structures in the path of the storm across the entire county. Some rescues of entrapped people were effected and at least two people were transported by EMS to Wayne Healthcare with non-life threatening injuries. Whittaker said, “There are NO reported fatalities at this time.”

Whittaker said Darke County Emergency Management, fire rescue agencies and deputies were planning to begin the damage assessment once daylight hit on Friday morning.

The public is advised to stay out of the area for their own safety and the security of the local residents.

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