DARKE COUNTY — The Darke County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) joined the National Weather Service (NWS) on Tuesday to assess the damage from Monday’s storm throughout the county.
The NWS confirmed five tornadoes struck southern portions of Darke County and surrounding areas. The locations where twisters touched down were in Wheatville in Preble County, Phillipsburg in Montgomery County, Laura in Miami County, and Arcanum and Pitsburg in Darke County.
According to Emergency Management Specialist Josh Haney, two properties, one on Dull Road near Arcanum and another on Oakes Road at Schnorf-Jones Road near Pitsburg sustained significant damage.
The Flying Ranch, a family farm owned by Pete Heins on Dull Road suffered considerable damage: a destroyed shed, uprooted trees and destruction of a horse arena.
“That property had significant damage to one barn and had multiple trees down around the entire property,” confirmed Haney. “There was debris from the barn scattered around the area, some up to several thousand feet away. NWS has confirmed a tornado with this damage but has not rated the strength as of now.”
The tornado that touched down near Pitsburg has been classified by NWS as an EF0, having wind speed of 65 to 85 miles per hour (mph). A property at Oakes Road at Schnorf-Jones Road sustained damage.
“This property sustained damage to the roof of a barn and a residential structure. NWS has confirmed this damage was a result of an EF-0 tornado,” said Haney.
As the storms began Monday, students at all Darke County schools took shelter during the warnings and were not released to their parents or loaded onto buses until the threats had passed.
“The schools did an amazing job at holding over and sheltering the students during the tornado warning. There is never a good time for this to happen however this warning took place right before school released for the day. This prompted the schools to activate their safety plans and to seek shelter and in some cases hold the students after regular school hours for their safety,” praised Haney.
The estimated wind speed of the tornado near Phillipsburg, classified as an EF1 tornado, was 100 to 105 mph. This twister ripped the roof off a two-story home on Baltimore-Phillipsburg Road.
The NWS report states, “With consideration of the age of the home and roofing structure, the damage was consistent with high end EF1 (86 to 110 mph) damage. At this same property a garage was shifted off its foundation with all walls collapsed…with a nearby barn losing about 20 percent of the roof.”
Funnel clouds were also reported in Vandalia and Englewood, both in Montgomery County. High wind gusts were experienced in other areas across the region along with some flooding.