Cleanup continues in Defiance after Wednesday tornado

Cleanup continues in Defiance after Wednesday tornado
(Source: National Weather Service)
(Source: National Weather Service)
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

DEFIANCE, OH (WTOL) - People in Defiance continue to pick up the pieces after Wednesday night's storms.

A lot of areas of northwest Ohio saw severe weather that night, but the tornado that passed through Defiance County left a visible trail behind it.

The National Weather Service released details on Friday of the tornadoes that hit Indiana and Ohio, including the tornado that struck near State Route 66 near Flory Road in Defiance County.

According to the NWS, between 6:28 and 6:34 p.m. the EF-2 tornado made multiple touchdowns in the area with wind speeds between 120 and 125 mph.

The length of the path was 2.69 miles and the tornado was 400 yards wide.

On Friday, people converged on the area north of the city of Defiance and north of US 24 to help with the cleanup.

That storm brought down a barn, power lines and tree branches.

Rath Building Supplies was one of the buildings that took a direct hit from the storm.

The top of the building is gone and there are major structural concerns on the ground floor.

On both floors, they continued to move their products out and to clear debris scattered all over the property.

The Emergency Management Agency organized a team of 12 volunteers and their first stop was the business.

Rich Reid was one of the volunteers.

"A call went out to all the churches in town and my wife saw the email and said hey you're free, go out there and help. And that's what all these people are out doing what they can to help out," said Mr. Reid

It's an effort the owners are grateful for.

"It's amazing how many people, like yesterday, people just showed up and helped us get all our documents out. Today we got all of our inventory out. We've actually had offers from Cincinnati, from a contractor down there, that he would bring up a crew," said co-owner Barb Rath.

Their insurance adjuster is coming up from Cincinnati on Monday, but at this point they're just not sure if this can be fixed or if they have to knock it down and start over.

It will take days for the debris to be cleared from a barn on Ohio 66 and to repair or replace the power lines taken down across the street.

More damage from the Ohio 66 tornado was on nearby Flory Road.

Homes were damaged and there is nothing left of one mobile home at a mobile home park. No one was seriously injured.

There is still a need for volunteers throughout the weekend for those who were affected by the storm.

"If they would like to give us a call and get put on a volunteer list, we are going to have homes Saturday and Sunday that we could use volunteers to help clean up some debris. So if they want to give us a call to volunteer, we would welcome that," said Julie Rittenhouse, Defiance County EMA Director.

You can call the Defiance County EMA at 419-782-1130 to volunteer.

WTOL's First Alert weather team works hard to accurately report and recommend when to take cover. Download the weather app here.

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