WILMINGTON — Severe thunderstorms, high winds and “most likely” a tornado took out power lines, knocked down tree limbs and damaged property early Thursday morning.
Ron Morris, who, along with his wife, recently purchased a home on McGuinn Road, said his phone woke him up, he heard a loud commotion and, a couple of minutes later, “we had a drive through” instead of a garage.
No one was hurt and the home is insured, Morris said, but several items were damaged in addition to the home itself, including an antique motorcycle and a truck, among others.
The wall between the garage and the home’s kitchen was one of the only items holding up what was left of the garage.
Morris said they had made only one payment so far on the house.
“I think we lost between a third and a half of our house last night,” Morris said he told his boss. The roof, some supports, walls and part of the interior were damaged.
A flash flood watch is still in effect in Clinton County until 6 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
“Several clusters of strong to severe thunderstorms with torrential rainfall rates will continue to move across the watch area this morning and possibly again this afternoon,” the NWS warned, adding that it’s possible to have two to three inches of rain in a very short amount of time.
“Those living near small creeks and streams, which respond quickly to heavy rain, need to monitor rainfall and stream levels. Those traveling are encouraged to be alert for water over road … and turn around if water is indeed flowing over the road,” stated NWS.
The NWS also warned people to avoid low-lying areas and use caution when approaching highway dips and underpasses.
More than 2,000 customers were without power, according to Dayton Power & Light’s power outage map this morning, and many Clinton County residents were without power in the early morning. Nearby Fayette and Warren Counties were also hard hit with outages, and Debbie Carity, a spokesperson for DP&L, said 22,000 customers were without power in all of the 24 counties in its service area.
A DP&L status update said 12 80-foot transmission poles were down in the area.
At one point last night, the NWS in Wilmington tweeted that it was “highly likely” that a tornado was on the ground and crossing into Clinton County. The storm was northwest of Cowan Lake State Park.
As of Thursday morning, the NWS was still investigating as to whether the weather included a tornado, according to Myron Padgett, who said radar indicated possible tornado rotation. The highest wind speed recorded in Clinton County was 61 mph at the Wilmington Air Park, Padgett said.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.