UPDATE: Community-by-community survey of tornado damage, cleanup efforts

Published: Saturday, June 08, 2019 @ 4:53 PM


The Dayton Daily News surveyed area communities to get an update on the damage and recovery efforts following 15 tornadoes that hit the region on Memorial Day. Below is what they said about their communities:


Volunteers gathered tree limbs Saturday in a storm-damaged area on Graham Drive in Beavercreek, just west of Grange Hall Road. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF(Staff Writer)


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What has changed as cleanup efforts continued?

The extent of damages to homes and properties is becoming clearer as damaged trees are cut down, other yard waste and debris is cleared, and as homeowners go through the process of filing claims with their insurance companies. Various organizations that are assisting in the recovery, such as Dayton Vineyard Church, 4051 Indian Ripple Road, are reporting they have a greater need to organize and distribute donated supplies than to receive more donations.

>>RELATED: Beavercreek maps tornado’s 14-square-mile ‘path of destruction’

What do you need/want to communicate to the public at this point?

“We are grateful for all the assistance from other communities. The city only has 16 trucks but yet with the assistance of many other communities and ODOT, we have had 50-60 trucks each day removing yard debris plus an additional 10 Bunyan (city contractor) trucks. With the debris over 14 square miles, even with all of the trucks, this will take some time, and we continue to encourage patience.” — Pete Landrum, City Manager

What do you need most right now?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency toured the neighborhoods that were impacted by the storm to evaluate whether to declare a state of emergency. State and county officials will be requesting public assistance from FEMA, as clean-up costs alone are expected to have a big impact on the budgets for the city of Beavercreek and Beavercreek Twp.

What are you hopeful about?

“We are amazed and would like to thank all those who have and who continue to step up and volunteer or donate. The Beavercreek community has been fantastic, like one big family. We are Beavercreek Strong!” — Pete Landrum, City Manager

How many houses/businesses damaged?

The initial summary of damages show 44 buildings were destroyed; 164 buildings sustained major damages; 346 sustained minor damages; and 595 buildings were affected, according to the Greene County Emergency Management Agency.

>>RELATED: Up to 1,000 Beavercreek buildings damaged in tornado

Any government property damaged?

Beavercreek Twp.’s Fire Station 63 on Kemp Road was damaged as were two engines and one medic unit. Numerous trees were uprooted or otherwise damaged or blown over on government properties. Greene County reports some sewer lift stations were damaged as was the Russ Nature Preserve on Kemp Road.

Mike Roberts of Charlie Court in Brookville stands in front of his garage that was destroyed by a tornado. He and other family members scrambled to the basement when they heard the winds blowing. “We were pretty lucky in this whole thing … the garage is just a garage. It can be replaced.” MAX FILBY/STAFF


Estimate of how many people affected?

City officials projected that the tornado itself affected about a quarter of the city’s roughly 6,000 residents.

The worst damage occurred in the Meadows of Brookville, Terrace Park and Wenger Woods subdivisions.

How many houses/businesses damaged?

The tornado hit 235 homes, 35 percent showing heavy damage and 36 percent with moderate damage. No businesses were affected, according to the city.

>>RELATED: Stories of Survival: Brookville couple feels ‘lucky’

Any government property damaged?

The city’s wastewater treatment plant took a direct hit. One building lost its roof and air handler. The lab building sustained significant damage as well. Railings, fences and trees were also impacted. The backup generator started immediately so there was no interruption of service.

What has changed as cleanup efforts continued?

The roads in Terrace Park have been cleared of downed trees and power lines but there are still a lot of debris that need to be taken care of.

What are you hopeful about?

A few people have moved on from the city, neighbors said, but many people are opting to rebuild.

On Monday people can drop off items at the Ridge Church Barn, 7555 Brookville Phillipsburg Road, for a garage sale next Tuesday and Wednesday. Proceeds will go to help people affected by the tornadoes.

Many business in Old North Dayton's industrial park were severely damaged after a tornado ripped through the area on Memorial Day. This view looking north shows the damage at Dayton Phoenix, top, KAP Signs, lower left, and Allied Fence, right.(Ty Greenlees)


What has changed as cleanup efforts continued?

The city has completed debris removal from the streets and sidewalks (also known as right-of-ways) in Old North Dayton, Wright View, DeWeese, North Riverdale and Shoup Mill Road. The storm knocked out about 85 traffic lights. All but one have been brought back online.

Dayton police have increased patrols in the neighborhoods impacted by the storm to try to prevent theft and other criminal activities, said City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

>>RELATED: Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs’ letter to community: ‘You took the call seriously and acted just as you should’

What do they want to tell people?

There remains lots of storm-related debris on private property. The city’s public works crews are visiting impacted neighborhoods to pick up debris from curbs and alleyways. Tree and brush debris needs to be separated from other types of debris. City leaders are asking the community to have patience. “We know that recovery is going to be a very long process,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “The federal government moves slowly, and we understand how frustrating the pace is for people who were directly impacted.”

What do they need most right now: The city is waiting for FEMA to make a decision whether the damage caused by the Memorial Day tornadoes is eligible for federal disaster assistance. The city is seeking a firm to monitor and document clean-up efforts to try to seek federal reimbursement for debris removal.

What are they worried about: The city is starting to focus on what will be needed in the long term to help citizens and areas impacted by the storm. The city, along with other jurisdictions, wants to develop strategies to help people who need significant home repairs or their homes replaced, city officials said.

What are they hopeful about: The outpouring of community support has been remarkable, and some service organizations have been overwhelmed by the number of volunteers and in-kind donations, Dickstein said. She asked citizens to check the websites of organizations that are helping with tornado relief to find out what they need. Organizations include the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, The Foodbank of Dayton and the Dayton Foundation.

“As life moves on for many Dayton residents, I hope we can maintain the overwhelming support that people have shown for their neighbors over the last few weeks,” said Mayor Whaley. “As a city, we’re committed to doing what we can locally to make sure our community comes out stronger from this crisis.”

How many houses/businesses damaged: 1,055 combined homes and businesses damaged.

Any government property damaged: There was minor damage to a park shelter in the DeWeese neighborhood. The Dayton Fire Department station 8 on Stanley Avenue suffered minor roofing, electrical and air conditioner damage, said fire Chief Jeffrey Payne. The firehouse is equipped with a generator that automatically turned on when the electric lines were ripped from the building, he said. The air conditioner has since been repaired, and the roof is being assessed and temporarily repaired by a roofing contractor.

Sara Rice of Harrison Twp. and her children Brayden, 9, and Josie, 7, walk in front of a roll-off container placed near their home on Swallow Drive to collect building material debris. Officials ask that tree debris be left at the curb and not placed in the containers. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Staff Writer)


What has changed as cleanup efforts continued?

As debris removal continues, the neighborhoods affected are beginning to fully assess the damage, according to Township Administrator Kris McClintock.

What do you want to tell people?

Be patient as crews work to remove debris. “It will take weeks for us to get to everyone,” McClintock said. “The damage was devastating.”

»RELATED: Here’s how to apply for a property value deduction if your home was damaged by a tornado

What do you need most right now?

The township needs to hear from residents as to their needs, he said. “We are operating a donation pick-up/drop-off site at our fire station at 2400 Turner Road,” he said. “If people need specific items, we need to know so we can request from donors.”

What are you worried about?

Making sure all our residents needs are met as we continue our cleanup efforts.

What are you hopeful about?

The positive way our community worked together after this devastating tornado. The amount of volunteers has been overwhelming. “I am hopeful all those affected will be stronger after this is all over,” McClintock said.

Estimate of how many people affected?

The township estimates that more than 3,000 of our residents were affected.

How many houses/businesses damaged?

“I don’t have numbers on businesses yet. But we had 385 structures damaged. About 185 of those are destroyed or showed major damage. We estimate that over 585 residents have been displaced.”

Any government property damaged?

Sinclair Park on Shoup Mill was destroyed. “We lost a lodge, several shelters and over 400 old trees,” McClintock said. The park is about 13 acres and only about 15 of the mature trees remain. “It took a direct hit. You can’t even get a vehicle in there to assess damage, you can only access on foot or ATV,” he said.

Colonial Village apartments in Riverside suffered damage from the area’s tornado outbreak. TY GREENLEES/STAFF(Staff Writer)


What has changed as cleanup efforts continued?

Conditions have improved in Riverside neighborhoods. Riverside employees, with assistance from the city of Huber Heights and the city of Fairborn, have made significant progress clearing debris from affected areas.

»RELATED: $500K from state to help workers displaced by tornadoes find jobs, transportation

How many houses/businesses damaged?

Our current estimates are 363-388 houses (150 of these in Wright Prairies) and five apartment buildings damaged, with 37-42 homes uninhabitable (15 of these in Wright Prairies) and 10 residential apartment units uninhabitable.

Any government property damaged?

Shellabarger Park remains closed until unsafe trees can be removed.

Steve Cooper and Malyssa Suarez, both with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, conduct a joint preliminary assessment of tornado-damage Wednesday at the Westbrooke Village Apartments in Trotwood. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Staff Writer)


What has changed as cleanup efforts continue?

The city of Trotwood is progressing from the response phase of emergency management to the next step of recovery. Under the recovery phase, citizens are taking steps to return to normalcy.

SNAP cards and birth certificates are being re-issued. Vouchers to purchase clothing and other goods are being provided. And some people have been fortunate enough to find other housing. It will take time to fully recover and rebuild, city leaders said, but we want citizens to know we are in this together.

What do they want to tell people?

Trotwood is working with governmental agencies, investors/developers and others to ensure resources are brought to address current needs and build sustainable housing for the future. This includes development of 56 acres of city-owned land in the heart of the community.


What do they need most right now?

Housing remains as the greatest need. “Two of our major apartment complexes experienced major damage and it will take them time to rebuild,” the city statement said. Between those two complexes alone 665 housing units were deemed uninhabitable. The good news is these owners are expressing their desire to rebuild in the city.

What are they worried about?

People are worried about where they will live, how they will get their children to school, how they will eat, how they will pay for repairs, and for the insured, they want to know if the insurance company will pay in a timely manner.

What are they hopeful about?

Many are hopeful for a new beginning, the city statement said. They are hopeful that the president issues a declaration that will help them rebuild their homes without a long wait.

Estimate of how many people affected?

We know thousands are affected by this event, the city statement said. “We have been reaching out to our business community and understand that there are lost revenues for the companies and lost wages for some employees. This is a situation that has compounded concerns for many,” according to the city.

Some lower-income citizens will have some benefits like SNAP restored due to the county’s efforts. However, those with a moderate income are trying to figure out how to come up with money — for insurance deductibles, to replace food they lost, and to replace valuables/clothing they lost.

How many houses/businesses damaged?

As a result of the tornado, Trotwood had 36 structures destroyed, 175 structures suffered major damage and another 207 structures suffered other damage. Therefore, housing is the greatest need; it provides a sense of stability that people need after experiencing such a catastrophic event.

Any dollar amount estimates on damage?

The city is in the process of collecting data to provide an approximate estimate of damages. “But, it will be millions of dollars in losses,” the city statement said. The Montgomery County Auditor’s assessment of Woodland Hills apartments shows a value of $5.5 million. The same source values Westbrooke Village apartments at $3 million.

Any government property damaged?

A few city facilities suffered minor damage, but nothing compared to what many of our citizens have experienced.

84 Lumber on Poe Avenue in Vandalia(Emily Kronenberger/Staff)


What has changed as cleanup efforts continued?

Vandalia’s focus has shifted to help their residents clean up and rebuild, instead of addressing the public safety issues that include downed wires and blocked roadways.

What do they want to tell people?

“We want our people to know that they are not alone in these efforts to move on and rebuild. Our Public Works crews will continue to assist in hauling away storm debris, and our Development and Engineering Services staff are ready to help residents work through the permitting process to get their homes back to pre-storm conditions,” said City Manager Job Crusey. “I encourage all of our impacted residents to use the resources we’re offering to get through the rebuilding process as quickly as possible.”

What do they need most right now?

Vandalia residents have their utilities restored, according to Communications Manager Rich Hopkins. The need now is to find reputable contractors who can do the right work to fix structural issues in a home. Residents who have been displaced need resources to live in a safe location while their home is being repaired.

Some residents still need debris removed, and the city is working hard to provide the assistance they can.

What are they hopeful about?

“I think they’re hopeful that there will be a day when they don’t wake up to be immediately reminded of what happened on Memorial Day, or a day when at least some chunk of their time is devoted to dealing with the storm’s aftermath,” Hopkins said. “It’s been nearly two weeks, and this weather event has been an all-consuming thought throughout each day.”

Estimate of how many people affected?

125 people.

How many houses/businesses damaged?


Any government property damaged?