TROY, Ohio (WDTN) — City leaders and community members are remembering the EF0 tornado that touched down in Troy on January 11, 2020.
Like many people, Corey Thrush was stunned to learn a tornado ripped through Downtown Troy in the middle of winter.
“My cousin got ahold of me and basically said, ‘have you looked at Facebook and seen what’s going on in downtown Troy?’ And I was like, no. So, I tuned in and saw, and I was like, oh, my gosh, that’s our office,” Thrush said.
Thrush is the Chief Marketing Officer for Thrush & Son, a home improvement company. The former Thrush & Son building was one of about a dozen commercial buildings damaged by the tornado in January 2020. The tornado hopped along the downtown area, and blew off roofs and knocked down trees.
“It was the sprinkler system. It stayed on and actually flooded the entire basement. So it stayed on for I don’t know how many hours. And by the time they were able to shut it off, it was just inhabitable at the time,” Thrush said.
Close to 100 residential homes were also impacted. Mayor Robin Oda had only been in office for 10 days at that point.
“You learn you have to go with the flow. You don’t know what’s going to happen and you have plans in place. Obviously, we weren’t pulling out snowplows. We were pulling out chainsaws and things to take care of trees and a roof that landed down in the road, and trees that were down in our downtown,” Mayor Oda explained.
Clean up efforts started right away. Joel Smith, the Director of the Miami County Emergency Management Agency, was also new to the job when the tornado touched down. He said what stuck out to him the most was how much the community came together to help each other rebuild.
“The next day with the National Weather Service driving around assessing the damage, you saw neighbors helping neighbors clean up. Volunteers were coming out of the woodwork. And that was pretty impactful for a new person to this job and new to the community at the time,” Smith said.
Now three years later, Downtown Troy is buzzing with business. Most of the buildings are repaired except for the old courthouse on W. Main St. and the old Thrush & Son building on NE Public Square. Thrush said they were forced to find another location after the storm.
“With insurance and things of that nature, time kept progressing and we have to have a location because we love Troy, we love Miami County. And we had the opportunity to move over here at 10 N. Market St. And we jumped on it and moved here, and we’ve been extremely happy,” Thrush said.
While this is an event city leaders hope they do not have to go through again, they gained valuable experience that will help them through whatever Mother Nature does next.
“We’re very proud at how the community handled themselves. Those things happen. You don’t know how you’re going to react. But best case scenario, everybody came together,” Mayor Oda said.