Confirmed: EF2 tornado touched down in Blackford and Jay counties

Robin Miller of Dunkirk in Jay County sent this photo of damage during severe weather on Nov. 5, 2017.

JAY COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 tornado touched down in Blackford and Jay counties before ending in Mercer County, Ohio. Winds from the tornado got up to 134 miles per hour.

Power crews in Jay County have worked to restore power to hundreds after strong storms and a possible tornado passed through the area late Sunday.

REMC CEO Mark Arnold told NewsChannel 15 that crews have restored power to all but 50 of the 1,200 customers who lost it Sunday when storms Sunday afternoon pounded the area with high winds, torrential rain, lightning, and a possible tornado. The event left dozens of homes, barns, and other buildings have been badly damaged.

Jay County Sheriff Dwane Ford warned residents to stay off the streets or risk being ticketed, after a possible tornado caused considered damage near Portland and Dunkirk. Ford said the amount of damage and flooding caused problems throughout the county.

The National Weather Service was expected to survey damaged areas Monday to confirm any tornadoes.

A natural gas substation near Portland suffered damage from the storm. Crews have been evaluating the situation but it’s not clear how much damage was caused.

Jay County Schools announced Sunday evening that classes were canceled for Monday.

Monday morning the Jay County Sheriff’s Office reported that the Jay County Hospital and its emergency room are open, however some of the physician’s offices are closed.

The Portland Police Department had its phone service cut, and residents were asked to contact the sheriff’s office in the event of an emergency.

Tornado and storm damage is most significant in an area from County Road 150 North and State Road 1 in a northeast direction towards County Road 700 East and County Road 400 North.

No injuries have been reported.

A pig farm, C.W. Homestead Farms, also sustained significant damage.

“My husband and I were in checking the pigs when the tornado hit,” said co-owner Jennie Wagner. “It was quiet as quiet could be. I just happened to look out the end of one of the barns and I seen it coming towards us and when you’re in a hog barn there’s really nowhere to go to to be safe so we hunkered down and everything just blew around us and we’re alive and we’re safe. Thank God.”

The storm took down 35 power poles, Arnold said Monday. Crews had replaced 21 by 11 a.m.

Arnold said his crews were “making good headway” and all customers were expected to have power again later Monday with the possible exception of a few.