A year after tornadoes, some areas rebuilt, others abandoned or flattened

A Year of Recovery

The fourth-grade classrooms are exposed at the Grafton/Kennedy Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio after a tornado hit Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (Doral Chenoweth III/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Memorial Day Tornado Outbreak was a natural disaster of historic proportions. 15 tornadoes left two people dead and $1 billion in damage. Some areas hit by the storm were rebuilt while many were left abandoned, or were torn down.

The Wagner Ford Road area suffered some of the worst damage from the tornado. The Trotwood, Northridge and Old North Dayton areas took the brunt of the EF4 tornado that traveled from Brookville to Riverside.

The Trackside Hotel, as seen from northbound I-75. Staff photo
former Trackside Hotel location
This is the property where the Trackside Hotel was located prior to it being torn down. The hotel was considered a hazard following the 2019 Memorial Day tornado outbreak. Staff photo/B.J. Bethel

The Trackside Hotel, which was in the process of being refurbished, was destroyed and later demolished due to the extensive damage.

The neighborhood to the south of the hotel was torn apart, with excessive damage to homes for blocks, including missing roofs and collapsed walls.

The Wagner Ford Marathon gas station after it was flattened by the EF4 tornado that wrecked much of Northridge and Old North Dayton.
What remains of the property of the Marathon gas station on Wagner Ford Road. This photo was taken in May 2020, a year after the station was flattened during the Memorial Day Tornado Outbreak. Staff photo/B.J. Bethel

The Marathon Station on Wagner Ford was completely flattened during the storm. Fortunately no serious injuries or deaths occurred.

The fourth-grade classrooms are exposed at the Grafton/Kennedy Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio after a tornado hit Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (AP)
Grafton Kennedy in 2020
Grafton Kennedy Elementary in Northridge looks much like it did following the 2019 tornado outbreak, with the property taped and fenced off. The collapsed walls from the tornado are still visible. A large dumpster is outside the most damaged part of the property. Staff photo/B.J. Bethel

Grafton Kennedy Elementary School is located on top of a hill off Wagner Ford Road. The school is part of the Northridge City Schools District.

The tornado collapsed the outher walls and the roof at the school, devastating much of the building.

A year later, the building looks the same as it did the day after it was hit by the tornado. The property has been chained and taped off to prevent trespassers.

Hara Arena in 2019, shortly after the building was destroyed by the EF4 tornado that left a destructive path through Brookville, Trotwood, Northridge, Harrison Twp., Old North Dayton and Riverside. Staff photo
Hara Arena in May 2020, a year after the building was destroyed by an EF4 tornado. Staff photo/B.J. Bethel

The EF4 tornado that ran a path through northern Montgomery County left the historic Hara Arena building in tatters. It destroyed dozens of homes and buildings in Trotwood, leaving many neighborhoods impassable for weeks.

Hara Arena sits as it did the day following the tornado. The only differences are trees growing through parts of its damaged structure.

Brookville High School suffered extensive roof damage following the EF4 tornado that hit the city. AP Photo
Brookville High School in May 2020, a year after the building was hit by a tornado. Staff photo/B.J. Bethel

The EF4 tornado began in Brookville, hitting ground south of the town and tearing the roof off Brookville High School and causing other damage. Other buildings and homes were destroyd by the tornado.

The school district was able to repair the school within a few months.

The EF3 tornado that hit portions of Miami County destroyed many of the homes and buildings in the Range Line Road area, west of West Milton. A year later, houses are still being reconstructed and repaired.

Dale Hanna, 82, was a beloved member of the Celina community. He died during the EF3 tornado that hit the Mercer County town on Memorial Day 2019. Staff photo
1213 Fairground Rd.
Hanna’s home before it was hit by the 2019 Celina tornado.

The first major tornado of the 2019 Memorial Day outbreak hit Celina. The tornado started west of town, and then traveled down Fairground Road where it destroyed homes an buildings in two new subdivisions.

The tornado threw a car into the home of Dale Hanna, 82, who was asleep in bed at the time the storm hit.

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