Ohio tornado confirmed; rain spurs flooding threat

CEDARVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Flood watches remained in effect
across much of eastern and northern Ohio Thursday as communities
recovered from several days of heavy rain and storms, including a
tornado that destroyed several buildings in western Ohio.
The National Weather Service predicted an end to the precipitation and some falling temperatures Friday
and into the weekend.
Preliminary
information indicates a tornado that struck in Greene County had an
estimated maximum wind speed of 145 mph, the weather service said.
The
Dayton Daily News reported fire crews rescued seven people from the
basement of a house that was flattened near Cedarville. Officials said
everyone was OK.
"You watch it on television, and you see them on
television all the time," Cedarville police Chief Chris Gillaugh told
the newspaper. "But to see it and actually know that it’s destroying
places and things, you have a whole other respect for it."
Communities
under a flash flood watch Thursday included Coshocton, Guernsey and
Muskingum counties. Flood watches also were issued for several counties
in southeast and northern Ohio.
A flood watch was to remain in place overnight Friday in northeast Ohio, meteorologist Frank Kieltyka
said.
Flooded roads were reported in Marion in north-central Ohio, and several communities in southern and
central Ohio reported hail.
High rain waters caused yet another delay in returning Ohio’s historic sternwheel towboat to the Ohio
River Museum.
The
W.P. Snyder, the nation’s only remaining steam-powered sternwheel
towboat, had been moored at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio
rivers for about a week after undergoing repairs.
High waters from recent storms prevented the boat from getting under the Putnam Bridge to the museum.
The
Marietta Times reported Thursday that the Ohio History Connection moved
the boat to West Virginia protectively amid weather service predictions
of water levels up to 32 feet, three feet below flood stage.
Ohio
Insurance Director Mary Taylor encouraged residents and businesses with
weather damage to call their insurance company as quickly as possible
and document damage to cars and property with photographs.