TIPP CITY, Ohio (WDTN) — The National Weather Service said Tipp City’s Meijer Distribution Center got the brunt of the tornado damage. Driving through town today, many residents are picking up pieces of their homes.
“Well normally when you hear the warnings, people just continue watching tv but until you see the funnel, it’s eye opening,” said Tipp City Resident Doug Tipton. “You should head to the basement, wherever your safety area is, head there because it was really close. Another 100 yards this way, we would’ve lost half of our house.”
The Tiptons live adjacent to the Meijer Distribution Center and saw the tornado too close for comfort.
“Seeing the funnel drop right here, we went down to the basement and came up when everything was done,” said Tipton. “You see the damage here and you can see the path of the tornado across the street in the grass on the hill.”
Owner of D&G Roofing Jerri Howard compares the damage in Tipp City to the 2019 Memorial Day tornado destruction but is hopeful families can rebuild quickly.
“It’s been hectic, a lot of homeowners need a lot of help,” said Howard. “Some of it is significant, I just got off a roof two doors down without damage and now I’m standing at a home with a lot of damage that’s visible from the ground.”
The National Weather Service and Miami County EMA spent the majority of the morning surveying areas of tornado damage and are amazed there were no injuries reported across the Miami Valley.
“An EF2 is a big deal, we don’t get a whole lot of those around here, thankfully there were no injuries associated with it,” said Science Operations Officer National Weather Service Wilmington Seth Binau.
Waking up to no injuries, the National Weather Service called the Miami Valley extremely lucky.
They confirmed that an EF2 tornado ripped through Tipp City’s Meijer Distribution Center, causing damage for miles around the area.
“When you’re into the EFf2 range, that’s pretty serious, we call those strong tornados,” said Binau. “They can do significant damage and can be killer tornados if they make a direct hit on a residence.”
The NWS says west and east of I75 in the Tipp City area saw the most damage. After surveying damage all across the Miami Valley, Binau says their hearts go out to everyone impacted.
“This is very real for us too as meteorologists we’re in the office issuing tornado warnings, seeing debris on radar but we know that’s people’s lives and livelihood floating in the air,” said Binau. “That’s pretty gripping for us so it’s emotional for all of us and thinking about everybody in the Miami Valley as we’re recovering from these storms.”
Their tips to homeowners is to try to remove any outside objects that can become detached before a storm hits but as soon as you hear a tornado watch or even warning, start preparing your shelter in place.