Tornado hits Dayton, Ohio; Mercer County severe storm injures 7
A tornado hit the city of Dayton late Monday with severe weather destroying homes and knocking out power across parts of Ohio.
Officials confirmed several injuries in the wake of the storms and extensive damage was reported north of Dayton. The Ohio Department of Transportation used snow plows to remove debris off Interstate 75.
"We probably have more than a handful of tornadoes that we need to look at on the ground throughout the region, maybe even more," said John Franks, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.
The weather service issued 36 tornado warnings overnight Monday across the region, he added.
The National Weather Service confirmed a "large and dangerous" tornado on the ground near the Dayton suburb of Trotwood in Montgomery County just after 11 p.m.
Dayton resident Tenley Taghi told NBC News the tornado left her street in ruins, adding that she didn't hear any warning sirens.
“I saw the clouds spin backwards and the trees began to sway uncontrollably and we took shelter," she said. "I was standing on the porch that is no longer standing.”
Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald said on Facebook that power lines and trees were down across the city of 25,000 residents.
"It’s like out of a movie, you can never prepare for something like this,” Trotwood resident Nathan Mann told NBC affiliate WDTN.
Four shelters offering food and water opened in Montgomery County overnight. One shelter lost power not long after opening and had to close.
In Mercer County, at least seven people were transported to hospitals for injuries sustained during the storm, according to officials. They did not detail the extent of the injuries.
WDTN reported that many trees were down and that numerous homes had been damaged in and near Celina, a town of 10,000 people in Mercer County that is around 72 miles northwest of Dayton.
"It looks in areas like a war zone, some of the houses were completely moved off their foundations and gone," Celina Mayor Jeffrey Hazel told WDTN.
Earlier, the National Weather Service said the power outages were affecting 5 million people across the state. Franks said that figure was based on the population of where those outages occurred.
However, website PowerOutage.us reported that around 68,000 customers remained without electricity at 6:10 a.m.
The city of Dayton and Montgomery County asked residents early Tuesday to conserve water after losing power to water plants and pumping stations.
Beavercreek, a Dayton suburb, issued an emergency declaration. "Gas leaks and power outages are severe" in parts of the area, and crews were working to clear downed power lines, the police department wrote in a Facebook post.