08-04-03: Four spot tornado in Auglaize
|By LANCE MIHM
The Daily Standard
The National Weather Service in Wilmington has not officially confirmed
it as yet, but there was a reported touchdown of a tornado in Auglaize County during
Friday night's storm, says Auglaize County emergency management agency director
Tornado weather sirens went off in Wapakoneta and St. Marys at 11:02
p.m. Friday night, and the warning was in effect until 11:45 p.m. Sirens also went off in
Celina. There were heavy thunder and lightning in Mercer County, but no reported tornado
Altogether, there were reports of funnel clouds in Auglaize County from
four weather spotters, including one trained weather spotter who had just gotten off work
at Goodyear in St. Marys, Mallory said.
The spotter reported a momentary touchdown along Moulton-Fort Amanda
Road. He said the tornado was U-shaped and had the lightning and wall cloud that usually
accompany tornadoes. The tornado reportedly dissipated shortly after it was spotted and
caused no major damage.
A rough guess on the path of the tornado is that it started at New
Knoxville-Glynwood Road at the east of St. Marys, continued eastward along Indiana Avenue
and McKinley Road east.
Later reports indicated the tornado also possibly touched down south of
Cridersville along Buckland-Holden Road.
The storm came at an inconvenient time for Auglaize County Fair patrons
who were attending a live band performance in the grandstand.
"We got most of the people evacuated," fair secretary Fred
Piehl said. "We got people out of the campers also and to safety. The rest were
primarily bunkered down in concrete buildings across the grounds."
The storm took out power in about 90 percent of St. Marys, according to
Kimmer Wale at the electrical department. Circuits in the north, east and west sides of
town were taken out by falling trees and caused most residents to be without power for
Power was restored to residents between 2:30 and 4:45 a.m. Saturday
morning. The downed power caused flooding in many basements, he said.
Mallory said there also was damage due to fallen trees and limbs, which
indicates 55-73 mile per hour winds.
The weekend saw 6.08 inches of rain dumped on the area according to
local weather forecaster Dennis Howick. This set a new record for August rainfall in
Mercer County, he said. The previous record was 5.4 inches in 1958, Howick said. The
normal rainfall for August is 2.21 inches.
An assessment of monetary damages in Auglaize County has not been
completed yet. St. Marys Safety-Service Director Mike Weadock said the city was looking at
about three days cleanup work picking up brush from trees.
"I don't think there was a lot of monetary damage," Wale
said. "Mainly just a lot of man-hours."
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