Three tornadoes, zero injuries: ‘It’s a miracle,’ fire chief says

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 5:46 PM


            A tornado damaged businesses in Park Layne in Clark County on Wednesday night. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF
A tornado damaged businesses in Park Layne in Clark County on Wednesday night. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF

Clean-up efforts began Thursday after severe weather ripped through the Miami Valley overnight, bringing an outbreak of tornadoes in the north and severe flooding in the south.

Three tornadoes struck Wednesday night — two in Clark County and one in Miami County — the National Weather Service confirmed Thursday, but warnings were issued in Greene, Warren and Preble counties too.

WATCH: 6 videos that show the intense Wednesday storms

No injuries were reported.

“I was extremely surprised,” Bethel Twp. Fire Chief Jacob King said. “It’s a miracle.”

His township included the hardest-hit area, Park Layne, where a confirmed EF1 tornado (with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour) ripped through a Sunoco Gas Station and damaged the Mel-o-Dee Restaurant, Family Dollar and Motor Sports of Dayton.

FORECAST: More severe weather could come this weekend

King said rescue crews had to free a woman from the Family Dollar on South Dayton-Lakeview Road.

“We received a call of a person trapped inside the Family Dollar who said they couldn’t get out of the bathroom of the storage area because the doors were jammed shut,” King said. “Our crews arrived on the scene, did a rampant assessment of the facility, forced entry and was able to rescue that one occupant from the building.”

The person was unharmed, King said, and he was happy to find out no one was hurt during the storm.

RELATED: Beloved restaurant forced to close after damage from tornado

The Mel-O-Dee restaurant could be closed for up to three weeks because of broken air conditioning units and a structural truss damaged. The beloved Clark County restaurant has been open since 1965 and is known for its broaster chicken and other dishes made from scratch.

Larry Shaffer, Clark County Combined Health District, said eight of 10 restaurants were back in business after the storms caused closures.

Another EF1 tornado (about 90 miles per hour) was confirmed about five miles southeast of Piqua.

An EF0 tornado (with maximum winds of 75 miles per hour) tore branches off trees and threw them onto and through mobile homes at McMahan’s Mobile Home. Residents reported extensive damage, including holes in roofs that allowed water to pour right in.

PHOTOS: Aftermath of destructive storms, tornadoes

Residents said they were alerted to the danger by watching Storm Center 7 coverage on WHIO-TV.

“I was watching the news, watching Channel 7 news, and it showed it coming this way and I was looking and said, ‘it’s coming right for this mobile home park,’” said one resident. “That’s when I went outside, the rain stopped and got real calm, and that’s when it hit.”

In Butler County, storm damage included thousands of gallons of water in flooded basements.

Firefighters rescued 15 people, eight adults and seven children, after high water trapped them at Sebald Park in Madison Twp., Butler County Wednesday. Crews said high water cut off access to a bridge in the park, trapping multiple people in the high water.

Those trapped in the park included a pregnant woman and people with medical issues, according to Madison Twp. Fire Department Chief Kent Hall.

Hamilton resident Rebecca Lee called 911 when heavy rains swept up her green Honda Odyssey on Wednesday night between Tabor and Cleveland avenues.

“I got to get out of my car or I am going to drown soon,” Lee said to dispatchers. “I am going to have to get out or die. There is water up to my waist, and it is getting worse and worse.”

Ben Johnson, who lives on Taylor School Road, said he felt “shear panic” as the storms blew through, flooding his basement, destroying appliances and knocking out a door in the basement. He lost a washer, dryer, refrigerator, video games and couch.

“Everything in the basement is gone,” he said after putting on waders.

Staff Writers Parker Perry, Allyson Brown, Jim Ingram, Wayne Baker, Rick McCrabb and the Breaking News Team contributed reporting.

STORM CENTER 7 WEEKEND FORECAST

Friday: The day will begin dry with pleasant conditions. Highs will reach the middle 70s with some sunshine early. Scattered storms will develop toward late evening and continue into Friday night. A few storms could be strong as they arrive before weakening late Friday night.

Saturday: Most areas should be dry in the morning, but isolated storms could be triggered in the afternoon. Scattered showers and storms could develop into the evening. Some storms could be strong or severe. Highs will be in the 80s with muggy conditions.

Sunday: Scattered showers and storms move through the first half of the day. A few storms could be strong, possibly severe. The eastern Miami Valley may still have a few storms around late afternoon. The area dries out into the night. Daytime highs will be around 80 with still-muggy conditions.

Monday: At least some portion of Memorial Day should be dry, though another front will approach that could trigger a few showers or storms in the evening and into the night. Highs will reach the middle 70s with sunshine and scattered clouds.

Tuesday: Expect a mix of sun and clouds with a passing shower possible. Highs in the middle 70s.

Moraine police shooting vigil: Jamarco McShann’s death ‘senseless’

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 7:45 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:10 PM

Vigil for Jamarco McShann ends with balloon release

Community members and family gathered tonight for a candlelight vigil to remember a man shot and killed Friday in a Moraine police shooting.

Local activist, the Rev. Jerome McCorry, spoke at the vigil and said he represents the family of 23-year-old Jamarco McShann.

RELATED: Moraine police shooting: Who is Jamarco McShann?

“This was senseless,” he told the crowd in the Pinnacle Park lot that marked the spot where McShann was shot and killed.

Moraine police said he pointed a gun at them, which family members dispute.

Jamarco McShann

A large photo of McShann was held up at the vigil, which ended with a balloon release and a vow from organizers to seek justice.

“It’s about a bunch of scared cops who use the excuse ‘I feared for my life,’ ” McCorry said. “In the name of Jamarco a federal lawsuit will be filed.”

Pumpkin glow highlight of ‘Saturday Nightmare’ in Germantown

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:49 PM

There were 1,000 Jack-o-Lanters Saturday night, Oct, 21, 2017, for Germantown's Saturday Nightmare event.
DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF
There were 1,000 Jack-o-Lanters Saturday night, Oct, 21, 2017, for Germantown's Saturday Nightmare event.(DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF)

There were 1,000 carved pumpkins alight during the “Saturday Nightmare” in historic downtown Germantown.

The second annual event began at 3 p.m. with activities for all ages, including a car show featuring 300 to 400 hot rods, carnival rides, games for children, Halloween costume contest, beauty pageant, food, beer truck and live entertainment.

“It’s nice for us to be able to give back to our community we love,” event co-organizer Dave Eshbaugh said.

There were 1,000 Jack-o-Lanters Saturday night, Oct, 21, 2017, for Germantown's Saturday Nightmare event.(DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF)

The highlight of the “Saturday Nightmare” is the pumpkin glow, which this year featured 1,000 jack-o’-lanterns.

The festivities mark the final of four Saturday Night Out events, held the third Saturday of the month in June, July, August and October. Local businesses, sponsors and the city helps make the events a success, Eshbaugh said.

The summer events draw 2,500 each. But in October, the crowd is easily 5,000, he said, after one car show organizer came up with a Halloween theme.

“It became our flagship event,” he said. “It’s phenomenal for our community.”

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Germantown Fire Chief Dan Alldred said he opens the firehouse to the community and serves popcorn. It’s also an opportunity to interact with kids and teach fire safety.

“We think it’s great to have an event like this,” he said.

Homeless pets find families at SICSA’s free adoption event

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 8:26 PM

VIDEO: Dog is adopted during SICSA event

Free adoptions on Saturday helped give homeless pets find a furr-ever home.

The SICSA Pet Adoption Center in Kettering partnered with Wagner Subaru for the “Wagner Subaru Loves Pets” free adoption event.

(DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF)

Wagner Subaru and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals sponsored adoption fees of all animals.

The Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals is the area’s first no-kill shelter that has served companion animals for more than 40 years.

(DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF)

More than 1,500 dogs and cats were adopted through SICSA in 2016, in addition to 3,400 low-cost spay and neuter surgeries, the agency reported.

The adoption center is open seven days a week at 2600 Wilmington Pike in Kettering

WB U.S. 35 reopens following crash; CareFlight call canceled

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 12:19 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 1:04 PM

UPDATE @ 12:52 p.m.

Westbound U.S. 35 has reopened following a crash involving a car and semi, according to dispatchers. 

Dispatchers said a call to CareFlight was canceled and the severity of the victim's injuries remain unknown.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

INITIAL REPORT

U.S. 35 westbound near Jamestown is closed following a reported crash involving a semi Saturday afternoon. 

Crews were dispatched to the intersection of U.S. 35 and Old U.S. 35 in Greene County just after noon. 

Initial reports indicate a person is injured after a crash involving a car and semi. 

CareFlight has been requested to the scene. 

We will continue to follow this developing story.

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