Houses, apartment complexes leveled from tornado that hit major Ohio city
ABC News(NEW YORK) — A massive tornado that tore through one of Ohio’s largest cities Monday night leveled homes and entire apartment complexes and knocked out power and water to tens of thousands of people.
The devastating twister struck Dayton, Ohio, which has a population of more than 140,000, carving out a hopscotching path of damage that left people scrambling for their lives.
“I don’t know that any community that is fully prepared for this type of devastation,” Dayton assistant fire chief Nicholas Hosford said Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Despite the widespread destruction assessed during a tour of the city at daybreak, Hosford said there were no reports of fatalities in Dayton or surrounding communities. But an undetermined number of people were injured and displaced.
“We have homes flattened, entire apartment complexes destroyed, businesses throughout our community where walls have collapsed,” Hosford said.
At one point, more than 80,000 people in Ohio were without power early Tuesday morning. Hosford said electricity to major pumping stations was knocked out and residents are being asked to conserve water.
While Hosford said he was unaware of anyone reported trapped in the rubble, search-and-rescue teams were going door-to-door in hard-hit neighborhoods to make sure everyone made got out of harm’s way when the buzzsaw-like funnel cloud stuck.
“I think the reduction in injuries is in key part to the early notification and people taking those warning seriously, moving to safe areas of their homes,” Hosford said.
Local authorities used snowplows to clear debris from major thoroughfares.
On Memorial Day, 51 tornadoes were reported across eight states — Idaho, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio — and severe weather is forecast to continue Tuesday and Wednesday.
The biggest threat for tornadoes on Tuesday is from Kansas City into western Illinois. Parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania also are at risk again for tornadoes, while other areas including Oklahoma City and parts of Texas may again see damaging wind and hail.
Similar threats on Wednesday will stretch from Texas all the way to New Jersey, with tornado threats highest in the southern Plains. More heavy rain could mean more flooding.
A day after Chicago’s wettest Memorial Day ever, with nearly 2 inches of rain reported, seven states from Montana down to Texas are under flood alerts.
The Arkansas River near Forth Smith is approaching record flood levels, which could produce major flooding in Little Rock by the end of the week.
Rainfall from Texas all the way into the Northeast could be substantial and contribute to more flash flooding.
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