‘Pictures started flying off the wall;’ People describe experience from overnight storms

MIAMI VALLEY — People across the Miami Valley are picking up the mess left behind after the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in both Wapakoneta and Troy overnight Saturday.

>>PHOTOS: Buildings damaged, downed trees from overnight storms in Wapakoneta

News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson spent Saturday in the Northern Miami Valley. She was at a TA truck stop parking lot in Wapakoneta where a tornado passed through. Buildings were significantly damage from the storms as well as downed trees.

People in Wapakoneta said when the tornado hit, it felt like a scene out of a movie.

“Everyone was like screaming, crying,” said Jeff Seidel.

>>PHOTOS: Storm damage in Celina and Wapakoneta

Robertson says radar data and damage surveys were used to confirm a tornado touched down in Troy and Wapakoneta, according to the National Weather Service.

The damage caused Wapakoneta Police to temporarily close down the entrance and exit ramps from I-75 to Exit 111.

A large greenhouse along I-75 and State Route 33 was flattened and the Konetta Rubber Plant had serious damage done to the building.

>>PHOTOS: Damage reported after severe storms hit Miami Valley overnight

Robertson reports Arrowhead Lakes Resort has closed for now after the tornado turned some of the cabins and campers on their sides.

Seidel said he had just unpacked his RV at the campsite and fled to find shelter when he got the tornado warning alert on this phone.

“(I) grabbed my dog and hopped in my car and ran up to the front of the main building,” he told Robertson. “Just as I was inside over the next few minutes, just you know lots and lots of more people started arriving, all in about five minutes.”

>>WATCH: Storm damage in Wapakoneta; NWS confirms tornadoes hit Wapakoneta, Troy overnight

About 60 people flooded into the truck stop to take cover, according to Seidel.

“(It) started getting real windy outside, you can hear the sirens going on in the background,” he said to Robertson. “It started pouring and the lights started flickering and that was kind of you know a sign.”

Seidel said the main lobby doors blew open and then wind came in and went around the room.

“Then, pictures started flying off the wall and then the lights just, you know, shut off.”

>>Damage reported after severe storm system warning of tornadoes rips through Miami Valley

Robertson said residents in Celina were also hit pretty bad as well.

“My house basically had the south side of it and completely ripped off, as far as the roof,” said John Prenger. “No structural damage, but the roof is gone.”

He says the area near his house usually gets pretty lucky and avoids tornadoes.

“But this time, not so lucky,” he told Robertson.

>>Storm damage in Wapakoneta causes road closures; police urge public to stay away from damage

In Troy, Sean Slack had a tree fell on to his roof and into his kitchen.

“Fortunately, we’ll be able to stay in the house because the damage is isolated in the kitchen,” he said.

Robertson says everyone she spoke with Saturday said they are grateful for the people in the community jumping into help as quickly as they could.

Comments on this article