NWS: EF-0 tornado in Mercer Co. wider, traveled further than first measured

Published: Monday, July 10, 2017 @ 8:44 PM
Updated: Friday, July 14, 2017 @ 10:10 AM

The National Weather Service confirms and EF0 tornado touched down Monday evening near Rockford, Ohio.

UPDATE @9:18 a.m. (July 14)

New measurements by the National Weather Service indicate an EF-0 tornado that touched down in Mercer County on July 10 traveled longer on the ground and was wider than first believed.

>>VIDEO: Close view of funnel cloud in Rockford

The updated measurements released Friday said the tornado traveled 6.5 miles on the ground, rather than the 3.9 miles the NWS reported on Wednesday. 

The tornado also had a width of 150 yards, also an increase from earlier measurements Wednesday where the tornado was thought to be only 80 yards wide. 

The new NWS measurements also indicate the tornado touched down at 8:14 p.m. before dissipating around 8:30 p.m., five minutes longer than the initial measurements. 

NWS reported the tornado is believed to have touched down near Winkler Road just west of State Route 49. It moved moved east damaging the roof of a home, and nearby trees, on the southwest corner of Winkler and Short roads. 

>>PHOTOS: Funnel cloud, lightning in Mercer

The tornado continued east causing damage to the roof of a house west of Wabash Road and trees on the property. The tornado moved east-southeast across Hill Road, crossing Winkler Road damaging crops and trees along its path. 

NWS reported “cycloidal scarring” was noted in the corn fields adjacent to Winkler Road and Jordan Road. 

The tornado crossed Jordan Road, moving east-southeast to near the intersection of Lee Road and Erastus-Durbin Road, according to NWS. An outbuilding was destroyed and the tornado damaged another area of trees along Township Line Road

The tornado continued east-southeast into open fields north of Rockford West Road before it dissipated at this location, according to NWS.

UPDATE @ 11:17 a.m. (July 12) 

The National Weather Service said an EF-0 tornado touched down in Mercer County Monday night with winds reaching 70 mph, the service said in a release Wednesday. 

The tornado was on the ground for 11 minutes, starting at 8:20 p.m. through 8:31 p.m., the service said in the released measurements of their survey. 

The tornado traveled just under four miles with a maximum width of 80 yards. 

“Based on eyewitness reports, the tornado is believed to have touched down in the vicinity of Hill Road, north of Winkler Road” the weather service said in the release. “From here, the tornado moved generally east-southeast, crossing Winkler Road and damaging crops and trees along its path.”

Surveyors said the tornado also damaged an outbuilding near the intersection of Lee Road and Erastus-Durbin Road. A line of trees was also damaged along Township Line Road before it dissipated in an open field north of Rockford West Road.  

Mike Robbins Mercer Co EMA Director

UPDATE @ 12:05 p.m. (July 11)

The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down in northern Mercer County Wednesday, the service said in a statement. 

Additional details on the tornado, including the statistics of its path and wind speed will be released later today or tomorrow from the NWS. 

Mike Robbins, Director of the Mercer County Emergency Management Agency said the damage was contained to a cornfield north of Rockford. 

SCENE: Rockford area corn field

UPDATE @ 11:47 p.m.(July 10):  National Weather Service investigators could come to Mercer County on Tuesday to verify the claim that a tornado touched down Monday night. Investigators with the Wilmington office will coordinate with county Emergency Management Agency officials to decide whether to visit the county to confirm the twister near Rockford.

>>VIDEO: Close view of funnel cloud in Rockford

>>PHOTOS: Funnel cloud, lightning in Mercer

>>RELATED: Flash flood warnings issued

 "We've seen all the pictures and lots of videos. We had a public report. As of now, there's no proof of any touchdown other than somebody's word,” NWS Meteorologist James Gibson said.

West of Rockford, Ohio

UPDATE @ 9:20 p.m.:  The tornado warning for Mercer expired at 9 p.m., but a severe thunderstorm warning remains in effect for Mercer, Auglaize and Shelby counties until 9:45 p.m.


At 8:37 p.m., a tornado apparently touched down just west of Rockford, but has lifted. 

There is no word whether the tornado hit anything, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell is reporting. 

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said he has not been made aware of any damage in the county.

Funnel Cloud just north of Celina, Ohio around 8:50pm Monday. Video courtesy of Lori Wilder

Check our interactive radar

At 8:33 p.m., winds of 73 mph were being reported in Mercer County, headed toward Rockford. 

Warnings in area counties

Utility poles are reported down in the area of Winkler Road and U.S. 33 and a funnel cloud was spotted by trained weather spotters, Elwell said. 

Winds clocked at more than 100 mph worked to drive the twister, Elwell said.

Tornado in Mercer County

The combination of winds coming into and moving out of the Rockford area created “gate to gate shear,” Elwell said. Radar measured an incoming wind of 73 mph and an outbound wind, right next to the inbound, of 33 mph, which was recorded as the maximum wind potential.

There are as many as five tornado warnings issued in northwest Indiana and the system is headed to the southeast, Elwell is reporting.

We have a crew headed to the area. We will update this developing report.

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Trending - Most Read Stories

Snow southwest ends this evening; sunshine returns Sunday

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 5:37 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 4:05 PM

Snow southwest of the Dayton metro ends this evening, with sunshine returning Sunday.

A Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 11 p.m. in Butler County.


  • Snow southwest of Dayton ends this evening
  • Sunshine returns Sunday
  • Warmer weather, spring showers next week

>> PHOTOS: Another taste of winter in area


Tonight: Snow will continue to fall southwest of the Dayton area this evening. Butler County, especially, could see heavy snowfall, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. A couple of inches of snow accumulation will be possible by the time all is said and done this evening. Overnight clouds will begin to break as temperatures drop into the middle 20s.

>>5-Day Forecast

Sunday: Mostly sunny skies return to finish the weekend. It’ll be a nicer day but still a little cool with highs in the middle, maybe upper 40s.

Monday: We get back into the lower to middle 50s with a few more clouds expected.

Tuesday: The chance for rain returns under cloudy skies. Highs will be in the middle to upper 50s.

Wednesday: A few more showers are possible with highs near 60 degrees.

Thursday: Partly cloudy skies are on tap with highs in the upper 50s. There is a slight chance for rain, but those chances get better heading into Friday.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Snow hits Butler County; Winter Weather Advisory in effect

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 1:03 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 3:59 PM

Snow covers a statue on Saturday afternoon in Hamilton. A winter weather advisory has been issued for Butler County until 2 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Snow covers a statue on Saturday afternoon in Hamilton. A winter weather advisory has been issued for Butler County until 2 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 11 p.m. in Butler County.

>> PHOTOS: Another taste of winter in Butler County

The area is receiving snow right now, but it’s not sticking to most roads. Area police agencies are reporting no major accidents or delays. Traffic along Interstate 75 through Butler and Warren counties was traveling at the speed limit as of noon.

The NWS said wet snow is expected through the region with accumulations of 1 to 3 inches.

A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Motorists should be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibility, and use caution while driving.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Dayton wants in on Trump’s tax reform program

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 2:43 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 2:43 PM

            Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein and Mayor Nan Whaley at a recent tax incentive review meeting. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein and Mayor Nan Whaley at a recent tax incentive review meeting. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The state of Ohio has nominated large sections of Dayton to be opportunity zones, which under Trump’s federal tax reform bill can give tax breaks to investments in those areas.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created the new opportunity zones program with the goal of spurring private investment in distressed communities.

The program provides a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into new funds that put money into economically challenged areas.

Officials say opportunity zones across the nation could attract billions of dollars in new investment into some high poverty neighborhoods.

“It’s basically a way to induce investment in areas that are traditionally under-invested in,” said Tony Kroeger, Dayton city planner.

RELATED: Ohio GOP members laud tax bill

Dayton officials this week celebrated when they learned that Ohio Gov. John Kasich had nominated 17 of the 20 low-income Census tracts that the city submitted to the state for consideration.

States were able to nominate just 25 percent of their low-income Census tracts to the U.S. Treasury to be designated as opportunity zones. The federal submission deadline was Wednesday.

Large chunks of Dayton were nominated, including downtown, Historic Inner East, Old North Dayton, South Park, Wright-Dunbar, Wolf Creek, Pineview, Lakeview and other neighborhoods.

Investors with capital gains can defer and reduce their taxes by investing in opportunity zones, and capital gains earned in the area will not be subject to taxation, said Diane Shannon, Dayton’s director of the office of management and budget.

“We are very hopeful that we will” see new investment from the program, Shannon said.

In opportunity zones, investments in real estate or businesses can be sold after 10 years with no capital gains taxes, but investors also get a tax break on untaxed capital gains rolled into new opportunity zone funds, according to the Brookings Tax Policy Center.

RELATED: Is Dayton Arcade project at risk under new tax plan?

Investments in qualified opportunity zones that are held for at least 10 years can be sold without any capital gains taxes.

Investments held for five years will see a 10 percent reduction in taxes on the original unrealized capital gains, and those held for at least seven years will see a 15 percent tax reduction.

The biggest incentive for investors is to keep their unrealized capital gains in the opportunity funds for at least 10 years so they will not be taxed on the appreciation, experts said.

U.S. taxpayers have about $2.3 trillion in unrealized capital gains in stocks and mutual funds, according to the Economic Innovation Group.

The new opportunity funds will allow investors nationwide to pool resources and mitigate risk , the group said.

“If this isn’t part of every person’s estate planning, it should be, because this is a very lucrative program for those individuals and their long-term financial interests,” said Alison Goebel, executive director with the Greater Ohio Policy Center.

The opportunity zones program could be another source of financing for transformative projects like the Dayton Arcade, she said.

Goebel, however, said she is concerned that there are no restrictions on where investors can put their money nationwide, and that could mean investors pump their money into opportunity zones on the coasts that have stronger markets and may appear to carry less risk.

She said she hopes Ohio communities do not get overlooked by investors because they need as much access to capital and credit as possible.

Across the country, critics say the program uses old Census tract data and newly gentrified and affluent neighborhoods may be eligible for opportunity fund investments. Critics say some rich areas may benefit from the program and some projects that do not need help will get it.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Beer, cats, and now ‘junk.’ The evolution of Dayton’s St. Anne’s Hill

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 2:35 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 2:36 PM

            Harry Slone and his dog “Mr. Red” in his new store on East Fifth Street in St Anne’s Hill. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Harry Slone and his dog “Mr. Red” in his new store on East Fifth Street in St Anne’s Hill. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

First came the beer. Then came the cats. Now comes the junk.

Harry Slone is opening a new business called Harry’s Collection at 1501 E. Fifth St. in St. Anne’s Hill, very close to Fifth Street Brewpub and the Gem City Catfé.

The brew pub opened in 2013 and the catfé opened earlier this year.

Slone likes to say that he’s in the junk business. But he’s kidding. Sort of.

Slone’s late wife, Ruth, amassed a large amount of vintage and interesting items during her life. Slone is taking those items from storage and putting them up for sale.

Slone calls it junk but acknowledges it’s not the kind of stuff found on the dollar rack at Goodwill.

He’s got vintage and rewired lamps, chandeliers and other lighting. He sells sculptures, repurposed wood items, wall hangings and art that go for as much as $1,000. But also, he’s got some “schlock.”

“It’s a junk store — there’s some really good stuff, there’s stuff that’s absolute crap, and a lot of stuff in the middle,” he said.

RELATED: Dayton’s first cat cafe opens

Slone, 79, said he can’t play golf all the time so he needs something to do with his time.

Harry’s Collection will be part hobby and a part-time job.

The store will have limited hours, likely in the afternoon, Wednesdays to Saturdays or Sundays, allowing Slone to spend his mornings on the greens.

Slone already has hosted booths at local antique shows and markets.

He had some space in the Treasure Barn at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, which closed so the property can be redeveloped.

He said the junk business is a pretty tight community. Slone said he looks forward to meeting new people and interacting with customers.

Some of his items sell for $25 to $75 and between $100 to $200. Harry’s Collection will not have a dollar table.

Slone said he may open for business next week. If he does, there will be no ribbon cutting and little fanfare.

“Right now, I may turn on the open sign in the window and see what happens,” he said. “It will be the softest of soft openings.”

RELATED: Happy 40th birthday to St. Anne’s Hill

Slone, who says he was once a “serial entrepreneur,” is renting the space from a friend, Gearld Strickland, who used to make guitars in the building.

The building for years operated as a costume shop by members of the Shaner family. William Shaner performed as the “Amazing Shaner.”

What’s pretty amazing, said Slone, is St. Anne Hill’s transformation.

During the early 2000s, when the housing market was pretty strong, there wasn’t a house for sale in St. Anne’s Hill that sold for more than $100,000, Slone said.

But the last home Slone sold in the district two years ago went for $148,000. A home on Henry Street sold for $154,000 in February.

Housing prices in St. Anne’s Hill increased 9 percent between 2014 and 2017, according to the Montgomery County Auditor.

Slone credits Fifth Street Brewpub with bringing people into the district and exposing them to its historic charm. Some of those visitors later chose to relocate to the neigborhood.

The brew pub opened in 2013 and has become a destination. Another destination, the Gem City Catfé, opened earlier this year.

More redevelopment is in store. An entrepreneur is working to bring a bakery and coffee house called St. Anne the Tart to a historic building a stone’s throw to Harry’s Collection.

Over the years, the district has lost some businesses, such as the New York Pizzeria Restaurant at 1430 E. Fifth St., which closed in 2015 after about six years in operation.

Trending - Most Read Stories