Clark County damage ‘typical of a weak tornado,’ NWS survey team says

Published: Friday, February 08, 2019 @ 10:51 AM
Updated: Friday, February 08, 2019 @ 6:38 PM

Possible tornado in Clark Co.

UPDATE @ 6:38 p.m.: The EF0 tornado followed a convergent path and a NWS survey team said the damage they found was “typical of a weak tornado.”

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The twister touched down about 3:17 p.m. It traveled 5 miles northwest of Selma in Clark County and ended 7 ½ miles later,  5 miles northwest of South Charleston, National Weather Service investigators said in their public statement about the storm and resulting damage.

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They estimated the maximum wind speed at 80 to 85 mph.

There were no injuries or fatalities.

A snapped tree found along East Jackson Road was the first instance of damage, the team said. An awning and gutter were lifted off a house. Roughly 200 yards to the northeast, a barn was destroyed.

The roof of the Pitchin Fire Department firehouse on Selma Pike lost “numerous roof shingles” and trees were either uprooted or snapped off along Old Springfield Road, Limerick Road, and East Pitchin Road between Ridge and Craig roads.

A barn was blown over at Craig and Old 70 roads. Metal roofing was sent flying, a 6-foot portion of which was found impaled into the side of a house. One of several shingles from a house on Old 70 wedged into the window framing of the same house.

The last of the damage was found along Newlove Road, where a metal barn roof was thrown into an adjacent field.

UPDATE @ 3:36 p.m.:

The National Weather Service has confirmed a weak EF0 tornado hit Clark County Thursday.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Clark County damage: National Weather Service to survey area for possible tornado

The tornado damaged trees and a few outbuildings.

Some residences had roof and shingle damage as well.

UPDATE @ 12:50 p.m.: 

A survey team with the National Weather Service in Wilmington has confirmed a tornado was responsible for damage in parts of Clark County Thursday.

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“The team has confirmed that damage in the area of East Jackson Road Old Springfield Road, and Selma Pike in the Pitchin area was caused by a weak tornado,” the NWS said in a statement Friday afternoon. 

Details regarding the strength and rating of the tornado are not available as data is still being collected. 

We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more. 

The storms that moved into the area Thursday night left damage in the area of East Jackson Road in Clark County.

FIRST REPORT (Feb. 8)

The National Weather Service office in Wilmington is conducting a storm survey in the area near Pitchin in Clark County, in relation to the severe thunderstorms and subsequent damage reported in that area. 

Based on damage reports and data, it is believed the damage reported was caused by a tornado, because of the presence of a lofted debris signature seen on radar and several reports of a funnel cloud in the area, weather service officials said in a prepared statement this evening.

Heavy wind and rain was reported in Clark County about 3 p.m. and WHIO began to receive damage reports about 4 p.m. Thursday. 

At the peak of the storm more than 8,000 residents and businesses were without power in Clark and Montgomery counties. 

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Pitchin Fire Capt. Brian Pauley said poles, trees, fence lines are down on Old Springfield Road and property damage -- including shingle damage to his firehouse -- was confirmed on Selma and Jackson roads.

“People said they heard a freight train,” he said, noting that one of his EMTs said she was awakened by the sound of what she thought was a freight train.

“Can’t say that it was a tornado,” Capt. Pauley said. “Sounds like a classical, but sounds more like heavy straight winds.”

No injuries were reported, he said.

We will continue to monitor the damage reports and bring you the latest information.