100-mile path of tornadoes wreaks havoc

30 reports of tornadoes were received from Miami County to Defiance County

SYRACUSE, Ind. (WANE) Meteorologists generally have to study tornadic activity for some time to declare whether a tornado actually formed.

The weather Wednesday night, though, took away all doubt.

“The reality is, there were tornadoes,” said Michael Lewis, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Syracuse. “We’re not going to dispute that.”

Tornado damage in Cecil (Daniel Rhoad)
Tornado damage in Cecil (Daniel Rhoad)

Twenty-five counties in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio were placed under tornado warnings Wednesday night – many more than once – while pop-up tornadoes dropped from the sky and tore through areas from Grant County to Allen County, Kosciusko County to Defiance County, and numerous swaths of land in between.

From its first tornado warning at 3:34 p.m. in Miami County, the weather service issued a steady stream of warnings through 8:25 p.m., Lewis said. All told, Lewis said meteorologists logged more than 30 reports of tornadoes Wednesday night, and estimated they’d received 20-30 more reports that were duplicated.

And they were strong.

Possible tornado along Wren-Landeck Road
Possible tornado along Wren-Landeck Road

Lewis said at first look, the area hardest hit by the 100-mile long path of tornadic storms was in northeast Allen County, near Grabill. Near Woodburn, NewsChannel 15’s camera saw several barns completely leveled. Lewis said that tornado rolled on to damage areas in and around Defiance and in Henry County, Ohio.

Another line of violent tornadoes tore through Willshire, Ohio and into Van Wert and Putnam counties, Lewis said.

Further south, a large tornado leveled a Starbucks in Kokomo and damage homes and properties eastward.

Now comes the analysis, and clean-up.

Lewis said the weather service is working to identify where the tornadoes were, then track their paths and the time they were on the ground. Meteorologists will look at how wide each tornado was at their widest points, and how intense they were at their most intense spots.

“That’s why we really need to be on the ground,” said Lewis.

Meteorologists will deploy throughout the area early Thursday, Lewis said, to survey the storms. He said the weather service will work through the night to staff that operation, then touch base with the emergency management directors of each county to determine a plan.

“We’ll hit the ground running at 7:30 a.m.” Lewis said. Why? Because another threat for severe weather exists Thursday afternoon.

Comments are closed.