Meijer distribution center ‘operational’ today after building damaged by tornado Wednesday

MIAMI COUNTY — UPDATE @ 1:40 p.m. (June 9):

The Meijer distribution center in Tipp City, heavily damaged by a tornado in Wednesday’s outbreak, remains mostly in operation Thursday, according to a company spokesperson.

>> Photos: Funnel clouds, storm damage across the Miami Valley

The tornado ripped through the area before 6 p.m. Wednesday, damaging one of the buildings at the complex. All Meijer employees were accounted for last night and no injuries were reported.

“Most of the complex is operational today and we do not anticipate any noticeable disruption to our stores. We are communicating directly with our team members and keeping them updated on any changes that would affect their schedules,” the spokesperson said.

>> NWS confirms at least 1 tornado; Storm damage reported in parts of the Miami Valley

“When notified of the incoming storm, the team activated a shelter in place and ran their severe weather plans. Their quick actions undoubtedly helped ensure the safety of our team members, contractors and visitors at the complex, and for that we are grateful.”

National Weather Service survey teams were at the site today and ruled an EF-2 touched-down and damaged the building.

“In Miami County, we’ve looked around the Tipp City-area, especially around the Meijer distribution center which sustained considerable damage. It looked like about 110 to 125 MPH winds, in that area, which would be a lower end EF-2 tornado,” Seth Binau, Meteorologist, National Weather Service told News Center 7′s John Bedell.

“And then there’s lighter damage but over a longer path both east of Tipp City and west of Tipp City towards West Milton. So looks like a longer track tornado here in Miami County that we’re still assessing – we’re still assessing this longer path of damage,” Binau said.

This story will continue to be updated.


A Meijer Distribution Center in Miami County was damaged following a tornado Wednesday evening.

Emergency crews were called to the distribution center just after 6 p.m. with concerns about the safety of the hundreds of workers inside.

The City Manager of Tipp City, Tim Eggleston, told News Center 7 that the west end of the distribution center that was damaged is used more for storage, so there were fewer people in that area of the building at the time of the tornado.

Photos and videos captured a funnel cloud bearing down on the building.

The National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday night that at least one tornado occurred near Tipp City.

>> NWS confirms at least 1 tornado; Storm damage reported in parts of the Miami Valley

Marilyn Johnson lives across the street from the distribution center. She heard warnings and headed to the basement but wasn’t aware of just how bad it was.

“I couldn’t believe it, I said that’s close,” Johnson said.

She said at first she didn’t hear a sound.

Tom Bennet, who lives two blocks west of the distribution center, said he definitely heard the storm.

“Got down to the basement and then the crashing started, then the pressure,” Bennet said.

>> Photos: Funnel clouds, storm damage across the Miami Valley

Bennet kept his wife informed from the basement.

“I called or texted and said, there’s a tornado and then I texted or called, It’s here,” he said.

Other businesses nearby also reported damage, according to emergency crews.

Repacorp along with two other buildings at 15 Industry Park Court, High Tech Industries and SK Mold and Die suffered structural damage.

City leaders expressed their relief for no early report of injuries.

“The business owners are going to struggle to get back up and running but yeah, that’s a huge blessing,” Eggleston said.

The total estimated loss to the structures is not known at this time.

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