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National Weather Service Confirms Six Tornadoes; Damage Assessment Continues

A Wall Cloud near Dayton, Ohio. Photo taken 7p.m. at Interstate 75 and U.S. 35.
WYSO/ Jerry Kenney
A Wall Cloud near Dayton, Ohio. Photo taken 7p.m. at Interstate 75 and U.S. 35.

Experts with the National Weather Service are still working to survey all of the damage from Wednesday's severe storms. Forecasters have so far confirmed there were six tornadoes in and around Clark and Miami Counties, with wind speeds varying between 75 and 100 miles per hour. The National Weather Service confirmed four tornadoes rated EF0, and two rated EF1, on the evening of May 24, 2017, including a twister that touched down in Clark County along Highway 235 near New Carlisle. No major injuries were reported.

Photo taken near US 35 and I-75, just west of Dayton, at around 7 p.m. Wednesday
Credit WYSO/ Jerry Kenney
Photo taken near US 35 and I-75, just west of Dayton, at around 7 p.m. Wednesday

In Clark County, just north of Dayton, authorities say a gas station on State Route 235 in Park Layne was destroyed. An apartment complex and a Family Dollar store in the same area also sustained damage.   

National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Coniglio says the tornado outbreak surprised many people in the area.

"It wasn't a real hot late spring or summer day, but there was enough warm-up during the day, coupled with a good deal of moisture and the circulation associated with a low-pressure center that was almost overhead of Dayton last evening. So, that was one of the main factors," he says. "The wind flow associated with the low pressure helped enhance the situation that may not have produced tornadoes otherwise." 

Fifteen people gathered for a birthday party became trapped at a Madison Township park in Butler County after flood waters rose over a bridge. Rescuers led them to safety through a wooded area at the back of a golf course.

Some residents of a nearby damaged apartment complex were also evacuated. A flash flood warning has been issued until noon Thursday in parts of southwest Ohio, southeast Indiana and northern Kentucky. 

The Clark County sheriff's office is expected to release more details on the storm damage Thursday afternoon. 

The Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross is closing its shelter at the Medway United Methodist Church on South Dayton-Lakeview Road in New Carlisle. 

Red Cross officials say they're offering assistance to any residents in need of alternative housing. People affected by the storm are urged to contact the Springfield office of the Red Cross, at 937-339-3872. 

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Jess Mador comes to WYSO from Knoxville NPR-station WUOT, where she created an interactive multimedia health storytelling project called TruckBeat, one of 15 projects around the country participating in AIR's Localore: #Finding Americainitiative. Before TruckBeat, Jess was an independent public radio journalist based in Minneapolis. She’s also worked as a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in the Twin Cities, and produced audio, video and web stories for a variety of other news outlets, including NPR News, APM, and PBS television stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She loves making documentaries and telling stories at the intersection of journalism, digital and social media.
Associated Press