WILMINGTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Investigators from the National Weather Service said the tornado that touched down near Cedarville Wednesday was an EF3 with an estimated maximum wind speed of 145 mph.
The location of the most intense damage was near the intersection of Barber and Weimer roads.
The tornado destroyed several houses and farm buildings.
Fire crews rescued seven people from the basement of a house that was flattened. They were all OK.
A trained survey team went to the scene to look at each structure to see how it was built and what kind of damage occurred in order to figure out how strong the winds really were.
“We’re going from location to location assesing damage at each location and then at the end we put all the information together and assign a wind,” said Seth Binau, National Weather Service.
While tornadoes do form in the Miami Valley, this twister is a bit unusual to see in Ohio.
“This is a pretty strong tornado. You don’t typically see these very often when we do damage surveys, so to have residences have this much structural damage to have buildings completely leveled, it’s pretty significant.”
The National Weather Service was watching each scan of the radar and noticed a possible tornado at 5:23 p.m. That is when the first warning was issued.
Knowing what was on the radar and now assessing the damage is not the easiest part of the job.
“You see very human, you see the rocking chair the books scattered on the floor things we see on our floor everyday you take those things for granted. It’s not a good feeling you get in your stomach.”
There is a lot of history at the old farmhouse. It is named Hickory Dell Farm because there used to be several hickory trees in the front, but the last one left is now completely stripped.