CLEVELAND — A tornado ripped through parts Richland County Sunday evening in and around Shelby. In its wake it left a mess around Ohio 39 and a couple of other places in Richland County
More than 30 buildings were damaged including Rocket Chevrolet on Ohio 30 and many businesses in that area. Several houses were damaged and about half a dozen injuries were reported.
According to AEP, up to 1,200 people were without power after the storm.
According to the National Weather Service, an F-2 tornado was confirmed in Richland County. Maximum wind speeds were estimated at 120-125 miles per hour, and the tornado’s maximum width was half a mile wide. It traveled about 17 miles Richland County.
“A long track tornado began about three miles southwest of Shelby around 4:42 p.m. then tracked northeast to about five miles north of Olivesburg,” the report read. “The most significant damage was on the southeast and east side of Shelby from near the Chevy dealership along State Route 39 northeastward to State Route 96, where a home was significantly damaged.”
A Tornado Watch for Crawford was issued Sunday through 9 p.m. About 4 p.m., weather radar indicated a severe thunderstorm near Marion. A Tornado Warning was issued for Crawford County as that storm cell was headed north and east. Tornado sirens were sounded in Galion about 4:30 and about 4:45 clouds in the Galion area darkened quickly. Just a few minutes later, weather radar indicated a tornado near Crestline and a few minutes later news of the damage in Shelby was flooding social media.
Sunday’s storm intensified quickly and there were only a few minutes of warning in the Shelby area before the storm hit. Your best remedy against severe weather is to be alert and cognizand of conditions in your area. You can sign up for weather alerts and you can sign up for alerts on your mobile devices.
But listen to weather alerts and take action quickly.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Get prepared. Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states. But be alert and ready to take action should conditions worsen.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Take Action! Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Take shelter in a substantial building. These warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a large hail or damaging wind.
Tornado Watch: A Tornado Watch is issued when weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes.
Tornado Warning: A Tornado Warning is issued by National Weather forecasting agencies to warn the public that severe thunderstorms with tornadoes are imminent or occurring. Funnel clouds can be reported by spotters, law enforcement or indicated by weather radar. The warnings mean those in the warning area should take steps immediately to get to safety.
But the real to safety during severe weather is to get prepared a head of time. This information was prepared by Richland Public Health:
Be weather-ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you’re at risk for severe weather. Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
Accu-Weather and the National Weather Service posts watches and warnings immediately to their websites, which can be easily access on mobile phones and through social media. Also, Crawford County residents can sign up for weather alerts by following this link: http://entry.inspironlogistics.com/crawford_co_oh/wens.cfm.
Sign up for notifications: Know how your community sends warning. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents to severe storms.
Create a communications plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
Practice your plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don’t forget pets if time allows.
Prepare your home: Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.
Help your neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.
When severe weather is imminent:
Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
In your home, go to your secure location. Take your pets with you if time allows.
At work or school, stay away from windows. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.
If you are outside, go to inside a sturdy building immediately. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.
Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest secure shelter if there is sufficient time.