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May 27, 2019
EF3 Tornado Confirmed in and near Celina in Mercer County, OH

 
Note: This statement has been changed from its original version.
Adjustments are marked in blue text.

 

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
National Weather Service Wilmington OH
133 PM EDT Fri Jun 7 2019

Location...central Mercer County, Ohio, including Celina
Date...........................May 27, 2019
Start Time.....................1002 PM EDT
End Time.......................1017 PM EDT
Maximum EF-Scale Rating........EF3
Estimated Maximum Wind Speed...150 MPH
Maximum Path Width.............250 yards
Path Length....................11 miles
Beginning Lat/Lon...40.551465N / 84.691142W
Ending Lat/Lon......40.592127N / 84.491711W
* Fatalities...1
* Injuries.....unknown

...Summary...
The National Weather Service in Wilmington Ohio has confirmed an EF3
tornado in central Mercer County, Ohio, including the City of Celina.

The tornado appears to have touched down west of Celina, near the 
intersection of Township Line Road and Bunker Hill Road, where about 
half of a barn`s metal roof was removed and strewn in a narrow path 
to the east-northeast. At least two other barns lost nearly half of 
their metal roofing in the vicinity of Bunker Hill Road. Numerous 
trees in this area with trunk diameters of 18 inches to 2 feet were 
also snapped and laid down in various directions. This type of damage 
is consistent with wind speeds up to 90 mph associated with an EF1 
tornado. 

The next damage points were homes and adjacent outbuildings along Mud 
Pike Road, immediately southeast of the intersection with State Route 
118. Two homes retained their main roof structure, but many shingles 
were removed. Two outbuildings and a larger barn were destroyed, 
likely resulting from EF1 tornado winds of 100-110 mph. Additional 
damage occurred along Hellwarth Road just south of the intersection 
with Fairground Road. Several homes and outbuildings were damaged, 
with the most serious being a home that lost much of its roof and 
some exterior walls. High-end EF2 tornado winds of 125-135 mph likely 
caused the worst damage at this location. 

The tornado path continued generally along Fairground Road from just 
east of the intersection with Hellwarth Road to the western 
corporation limit of the City of Celina. Homes, outbuildings, trees 
and utility poles were damaged here, and a free-standing cellular 
communication tower was knocked down. At least two homes suffered 
partial roof loss, and one home lost its entire roof. The cellular 
tower was a lattice structure at least 300 feet tall, and two of the 
three support attachments at the ground were broken. A 50-100 yard 
swath of trees were snapped and uprooted in a forested area leading 
up to the western edge of Celina. The damage to the cellular tower 
and trees likely indicates EF2 tornado wind speeds of 125-135 mph. 

More substantial damage was observed just inside the western 
corporation limit of the City of Celina, along Fairground Road. At 
least a dozen homes were severely damaged here, with roofs completely 
uplifted and removed, along with many exterior walls collapsed. One 
residence was completely lifted, with interior walls largely intact, 
from its foundation, and dropped in an adjoining field approximately 
70 yards to the north-northeast. This residence was anchored to a 
cinder block foundation, with the upper level or two of blocks 
breaking from the rest under the force of the wind. The fatality 
associated with this tornado was nearby on Fairground Road, and 
occurred when an airborne automobile crashed into the house. 
Significant mud spatter was also observed on what remained of these 
homes, especially on the north and northeast facing sides, implying a 
strongly rotating column of air in contact with a nearby muddy field. 
This type of damage is consistent with wind speeds up to 150 mph 
associated with an EF3 tornado. 

Significant damage continued into a cluster of homes near and 
northwest of the intersection of Fairground Road and Touvelle Street 
in Celina. At least two dozen of these homes had partial or complete 
roof failure and many exterior walls collapsed. Two residences on 
either side of Jill Avenue were missing large portions of their 
exterior walls, indicative of winds as high as 140-150 mph associated 
with an EF3 tornado. Evidence of multiple vortices within the tornado 
was also evident in the debris pattern here. Several cars were 
displaced by the wind and uplift in this neighborhood. A thick layer 
of mud was also spattered on the east and northeast facing sides of 
these structures, largely opposite the direction of the incoming 
tornado. 

The degree and extent of damage started to gradually lessen east- 
northeast from near Touvelle Street to US Route 127. The original 
tornado track was ended just east of US Route 127, north of Myers 
Road in Celina, but new information obtained after the survey 
supported an extension of the track farther northeast to near the 
community of Neptune, Ohio. Information about the extension follows 
below. 

An approximately 100 yard swath of trees were snapped and uprooted 
in a small forested area between US Route 127 and Celina-Mendon Road, 
north of Myers Road. A garage roof was displaced off the main 
structure along Celina-Mendon Road, between State Route 197 and 
Howick Road, causing exterior walls to also collapse. This damage was 
likely the result of EF2 tornado winds of 115-125 mph. 

A garage was destroyed along State Route 197, just northeast of the 
intersection with Rice Road. A house farther northeast along Riley 
Road, just south of the intersection with State Route 197, suffered 
partial roof removal, along with the collapse of a few exterior 
walls. Considering only about half of the home appeared to be 
affected, suspected wind speeds here will be set at the upper end of 
the EF1 range, between 100-110 mph. A debris path was evident into 
the field immediately east-northeast, where the tornado appeared to 
finally lift.

The National Weather Service would like to thank the Emergency 
Management officials from Mercer and Van Wert Counties, as well the 
State of Ohio Emergency Management Agency for their assistance with 
this storm damage survey. Thanks is also extended to the affected 
property owners for sharing their experiences and eyewitness accounts 
of the storm. Local media coverage was also beneficial in determining 
damage locations outside the City of Celina.

EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the
following categories:

EF0...Weak......65 to 85 mph
EF1...Weak......86 to 110 mph
EF2...Strong....111 to 135 mph
EF3...Strong....136 to 165 mph
EF4...Violent...166 to 200 mph
EF5...Violent...>200 mph

* The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to
change pending final review of the event and publication in NWS
Storm Data.

$$
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