TIPP CITY, Ohio (WDTN) – Severe thunderstorms that pounded the Northern Miami Valley through Friday morning left schools closed, power out and damage in its wake.
One of Tipp City’s major intersections at County Road 25A and Kessler-Cowelsville Road was left without its traffic signal lights into the late morning.
A power outage affected most of the town. Tipp City Schools were closed while residents and their neighbors woke to widespread damage and uprooted trees across Miami County exurb.
Some of the school district’s sports complexes had it worse. The fence for the Tipp high school baseball field was mostly blown down with part of its old fashion center field scoreboard damaged. Two port-a-pots were knocked over by the entrance.
“I’ve already been calling insurance,” Tippecanoe High School Athletic Director JD Foust said. “The earliest we can get the outfield fence fixed is mid-June.”
Foust said a landing pad for pole vaulters and high jumpers blew loose at the track and crashed into a football field goal post on the practice field. Some fencing had blown down.
Three utility poles had fallen into a creek bed that ran alongside the third-base line of the baseball field next to apartments. Three transformers had fallen with them.
A storm in 2012 had taken out the baseball dugouts, but this storm they were spared.
Jonas Golden, an employee with Rumpke, was on his Friday morning route. Normally by noon he’s on the West side of town, but this wasn’t a normal morning. He was still in the neighborhood next to the sports fields.
“It’s crazy,” Golden said. “It’s disaster everywhere you turn. Trees completely uprooted. People are already out with Bobcats and filling dump trucks with loose debris.”
Golden had been picking debris off the road, but much of it was blown into the trees.
“I saw a tree that fell on a swimming pool,” Golden said. “I’ll probably be picking that up next week.”
One tree crashed into a two-story home on Arapho Trail. A woman living in the home was in bed.
“She was asleep, it landed on her,” neighbor Tom Rettig said. “She pushed it off her to get out of bed, but she’s OK.”
Another tree crashed through the roof of a home on Kiowa Court.
The people in the neighborhood shared the same storm experience: around 3:30 to 4 a.m., storm winds became more severe. There was a loud noise like a truck was followed by a flash of light and then an explosion.
The explosions were from the transformers at the nearby baseball field.
Kerr Road on the west side of town reported had similar damage. The area isn’t as heavily residential, but a line of homes dot where the road intersects with County Road 25A. Trees were down in nearly every yard. One home lost many of its roof shingles and was littered with debris.
A 60-foot tree was another victim of the storm. The tree fell onto the next-door neighbor’s property.
An employee with Gray’s Tree Service in Troy said the rainy spring has led to the ground saturated with water. Any storm with enough windspeed can take down a large tree if the ground is so sponged with water.
Rettig said the neighborhood looked devastated, but it also showed how residents on his street take care of each other:
“If you would have been here between 3:30-4 a.m., and seen the people in this cul-da-sac come out of their homes asking, ‘Are you ok? Are you ok?’ That’s the one neat thing about this experience – people looking after people.”