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Clayton, residents credit tornado sirens: ‘It saved their life’

Published: Tuesday, July 02, 2019 @ 1:00 AM


            Clayton first responders received ‘Thank you’ letters from children for their appreciation of the help police and fire provided during and after the tornadoes. CONTRIBUTED
Clayton first responders received ‘Thank you’ letters from children for their appreciation of the help police and fire provided during and after the tornadoes. CONTRIBUTED

Clayton leaders said newer tornado sirens helped save lives of residents in the Memorial Day tornado outbreak.

The tornado siren on Hoke Road in Clayton warned most of the residents along Westbrook Road to take cover as the EF4 tornado with winds up to 170 mph swept through that area, city officials said.

The siren near the Caterpillar plant on Hoke Road also serves Trotwood and Englewood.

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TRENDING: Police, sheriff’s offices tally overtime to protect citizens, property after tornadoes

“The one at CAT, or right outside Caterpillar, had the most impact,” said Brian Garver, Clayton fire chief. “People from Crestway Estes, Moss Creek Drive and up and down Westbrook Road heard it.”

“Several people I talked to said it saved their life.”

Other sirens that were recognized for making a difference included the new Northview Park siren on Lavon Court and an existing siren near Northmoor Elementary School on Old Salem. Westbrook Road, through many jurisdictions, was hit hard by the tornado.

“These sirens were placed based on existing sirens to provide the best coverage to the Clayton and Englewood area as well as the northern part of Trotwood,” Garver said.

Many jurisdictions received grant funding and contributed city funds to help purchase new sirens in the last few years.

TRENDING: Trotwood goal month after tornadoes: ‘Bring our people home and offer them relief’

The city has submitted nearly $400,000 to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in dollars spent on tornado clean-up and recovery. The city has spent more than $31,000 in overtime.

Meadowbrook of Clayton, the local golf course, has more than $99,000 in insurance claims, but that does not include course damage.

Clayton thanked several agencies for helping to clean up damage, including Champaign County, Butler County, Preble County Engineer’s Office, Centerville, the Ohio Department of Transportation, Plain City, Valley Interior Systems and A1 Concrete.

The Miami Valley was hit with 15 tornadoes that ranged from EF0 to EF4 on Memorial Day night. One person died in Celina.