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The first steps are starting to take shape for federal assistance in Ohio after the Memorial Day storms. It was announced Tuesday the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration will be conducting preliminary damage assessments of the counties hit by tornadoes, starting on Wednesday. Ohio Emergency Management Agency will be joining the assessments in the ten counties affected. The National Weather Service confirmed 21 tornadoes landed, including one in Mercer County, three in Auglaize County and one in Hardin County between Belle Center and Kenton.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that 17 tornadoes hit Ohio Monday night into Tuesday morning, including deadly EF-3 that hit Celina and two hit Auglaize County. The agency determined that an EF-1 tornado with winds reaching around 100 miles an hour struck the area around Kettlersville Road and 33A. That tornado damaged one home and took down barns, other farm buildings, and power lines.
The tornado in Celina isn't a random occurrence, but part of a larger pattern according to Rick McCoy. Acting on behalf of the National Weather Service, McCoy was on scene in Celina making initial damage assessments. He said the country is seeing a consistent pattern that is wet and stormy. McCoy said typically when you see tornadoes in the south they make there way north soon after. The National Weather Service stated Ohio saw nine tornadoes between Monday and Tuesday. On average, Ohio has 13 a year. May through July is the most common time to have touchdowns in Ohio. So McCoy doesn't think we're in the clear just yet.
Auglaize County is cleaning up from possible tornados that hit Monday night. Multiple buildings and power lines came down around the area of Kettlersville Road and 33A. AEP was working overnight to repair transmission lines that killed power from Wapakoneta to Shawnee Township, and then they began restoring power to the homes in that area. Many farm buildings were destroyed.
The National Weather Service has tweeted out the tornado in Celina was an EF-3 but it's still being investigated. Rick McCoy from Van Wert did the initial assessment for the National Weather Service and said it's possible it could have been an EF-4. McCoy believes the tornado stretched a quarter of a mile. He isn't sure how far it traveled, but suspects it was somewhere on the ground for three to five miles. McCoy said this tornado might have had vortices or smaller tornadoes within the larger system which ultimately caused more damage.
Waters continued to rise even after overnight rain stopped in Mercer and Auglaize counties. As the day progressed on Friday, things got worse for both counties, all thanks to overnight rain that caused flooding. An official at the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said on Friday morning you could say more roads were closed than open. By noon a major roadway was blocked off, route 127, heading south out of Celina.
AEP officials said the National Weather Service is reporting that our area saw the highest wind gusts in the state on Sunday. The result was power outages for thousands, for multiple days.
What’s being dubbed as Winter Storm Quiana left over 1,800 people in the surrounding Lima area without power Sunday evening. AEP officials said over 100 poles were torn down across the state.