severe weather


Xenia tornado devastation experienced in gritty black-and-white photos 44 years later

Published: Friday, March 31, 2017 @ 10:37 AM
Updated: Tuesday, April 03, 2018 @ 9:04 AM

A series of dramatic photographs from the Dayton Daily News archive documents in gritty black and white the devastation left in Xenia by a 1974 tornado.

A collection of dramatic photographs from the Dayton Daily News archive documents - in gritty black and white - the devastation a tornado left in Xenia on April 3, 1974.

Gripping images of the 1974 Xenia tornado.

A series of violent tornadoes wreaked havoc in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The system was part of “Super Outbreak,” according to the National Weather Service, which documented 148 tornadoes in 13 states in the eastern United States. 

The deadliest twister in the outbreak, an F-5, descended on Greene County, bulldozing a path a half-mile wide. When it was over, 33 people were dead and more than 1,300 were injured.

A mother and daughter run throuhg the rubble that had been their home in the Arrowhead sub division of Xenia Ohio. A second tornado warning had just been given and many of the survivors just ran in panic.Photo by Ed Roberts(Eddie H. Roberts/Dayton Daily Ne)

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The images, taken 44 years ago, are a legacy of the tornado’s wrath. 

A black sky looms over homes in a residential neighborhood in a dramatic photograph taken shortly before the tornado touched down. That image, taken moments before the annihilation began, is in sharp contrast to an aerial photo of homes and businesses smashed to the ground the next day.

Expressions, some alarmed and some dazed, are captured on the faces of Xenia residents trying to escape the destruction, giving aid to others, and exploring their ruined town that no longer seemed familiar. 

» RELATED: A look back at 5 tornadoes that struck the Miami Valley in 2016

» INTERACTIVE: Path of destruction of 17 tornadoes in 1974

On April 3, 1974 an F-5 tornado tore through the heart of Xenia, killing 33 people and injuring more than 1,300 others. It bulldozed a path more than a half-mile wide, destroying or damaging more than 1,400 buildings, including 1,200 homes, dozens of businesses, 10 churches, and several schools. By the time it lifted into the sky near Cedarville, it left behind more than $100 million of damage in Greene County. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

Train cars were tossed on their sides, schools and grocery stores were destroyed and limbs were ripped from trees leaving bare and broken trunks. 

A photograph of a quaint home, curtains fluttering in the windows, reveals an everyday living room with a couch in front of a television set topped by rabbit ears and books neatly placed on shelves in a second floor bedroom. 

The only thing missing from this mundane scene is the exterior wall of the home, ripped off to expose everyday life.

» RELATED: ‘Xenia Lives’ decades after the tornado

» RELATED: ‘The sky was a color I could not remember seeing before’: Community shares stories of 1974 Xenia tornado

This scene was photographed near Warner Junior High School on April 25, 1974. On April 3, 1974 an F-5 tornado tore through the heart of Xenia, killing 33 people and injuring more than 1,300 others. It bulldozed a path more than a half-mile wide, destroying or damaging more than 1,400 buildings, including 1,200 homes, dozens of businesses, 10 churches, and several schools. By the time it lifted into the sky near Cedarville, it left behind more than $100 million of damage in Greene County. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

A hand-painted sign, photographed in front of a gutted Warner Junior High School, summed up the resilience of the community, “With the help of the Lord, good friends and hard work, we shall return.”

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When to spot International Space Station flyover in Dayton this week

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 6:28 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini tells you where to look to see the ISS.

There will be several chances to see the International Space Station fly over Dayton this week, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Clouds should be decreasing this evening, giving viewers a clear shot of finding the station. The ISS will appear in the southwest sky and drop below the horizon in the east/northeast sky around 9:30 p.m. It will take about six minutes and reach 59 degrees above the horizon which should be high enough to see above the treeline.

>> SKYWITNESS7

Facing north help you see the ISS when it is highest in the sky. 

Wednesday morning, if you wake up early, you could find the ISS in the sky around 4 a.m. This time the ISS will appear in the northwest sky and disappear in the east/southeastern sky. It will reach it's highest point above the horizon hitting about 64 degrees. Facing the eastern sky may help you find it.

>> Mark your calendar for these 2018 meteor showers

The International Space Station will look like a bright star or plane moving across the sky except it won't flash or blink. 

The clouds should break even more by Wednesday morning so get out and take a photo.

Maryland police officer killed in line of duty during traffic stop, reports say

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 8:48 PM
Updated: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 8:48 PM



Larry W. Smith/Getty Images
(Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

A Maryland police officer was killed Monday during a traffic stop in a neighborhood in Baltimore County, Maryland, according to news reports.

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The four-year female veteran of the force was responding to reports of a “suspicious vehicle” Monday afternoon when she was fatally injured,” WJZ-TV reported.

It’s unclear whether she was shot or run over or both, but police are searching for those responsible, who they consider “armed and dangerous.”

Authorities said they won’t know for sure how the officer died until an autopsy is performed, but she was wearing a body camera and police are reviewing the tape, according to WJZ-TV.  

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan did say in a tweet the officer was shot.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a Baltimore County police officer after she was shot in the the line of duty,” Hogan said on Twitter.

“Our prayers got out to this brave officer’s family, Baltimore County police and fire and the Baltimore County community,” he said. 

Baltimore County Councilman David Marks wrote in a Twitter post that the officer was shot in Perry Hall, near Belair and Lausmier roads.

Police had warned residents to shelter in place as a manhunt got underway Monday afternoon. 

3 Middletown residents to plead guilty to plotting $1.2M jewelry heist

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 2:50 AM

Middletown residents plead guilty plotting jewelry heist

Three Middletown residents accused of stealing $1.2 million in diamonds and jewelry during a 2016 heist will plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati today, according to our partners at WCPO.

Amit “Alex” Patel, 28; Mimi Chang, 42; and Danny Ray Horne, 28, are charged with conspiring to rob two New York salesman after a jewelry show in Pennyslvania.

>> 5 Middletown residents indicted in million-dollar diamond robbery

The salesman stopped at a restaurant in Monroeville, Penn., after a show on April 2, 2016. One of the salemen went into the restaurant while the other stayed in the car with suitcases of jewelry, according to WCPO.

The robbers punched the victim waiting in the car, grabbed the suitcases and took off running. 

>> Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

Two others, Andrea Mullins, 35; and Deanna “Dee Dee” Williams, 36, have already pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit the robbery, according to WCPO.

Patel has been charged in two other jewelry robberies.

Crews battle massive flames from two vehicle fires in Dayton 

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 2:37 AM
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 4:15 AM

Crews fight car fires on Dayton street

Dayton fire crews were able to quickly extinguish two vehicle fires in Dayton early Tuesday morning. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Motorcyclist injured in rear-end collision with sedan in Riverside

The fires were reported around 2:15 a.m. in the 200 block of Niagra Avenue. A car and SUV were both fully involved when fire crews arrived. 

It’s unknown what caused the fires to start.

The incident remains under investigation.