By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
Nine farm buildings including one large barn were destroyed
when a tornado swept through rural New Weston on Friday night.
The only injuries reported were cuts to the feet of a farmer
and his wife as they stepped through glass carrying their children
to the safety of their basement.
The National Weather Service said the F1 tornado hit about 11
p.m. and carried 73 to 112 mph winds. The tornado was on the
ground for approximately 3/4 of a mile along a stretch of Ohio
705, tearing down power lines in its path just southwest of
Burkettsville, according to meteorologist Myron Padgett.
One cow died as the result of flying debris at the Laverne “Pat”
Siefring farm at 3700 Ohio 705, where a total of seven buildings
sustained heavy damage when the tornado struck about 11 p.m.
“My husband and I were sleeping when we woke up from the
sound of a freight train,” said Pat Siefring’s wife,
Jeanette. “My husband said, ‘It sounds like a tornado,’
and then the lights went out.”
Jeanette Siefring said by the time she and her husband made
their way to the kitchen, it was quiet. The tornado had passed,
“If it had hit the house, we’d been gone,”
The Siefrings said one of their home’s gables was torn
off along with some siding. A window was broken in the basement,
but most of the house escaped damage.
The rest of their buildings weren’t so fortunate. A large
barn was destroyed and six others sustained heavy damage. Three
grain silos are now leaning from the force of the high winds
and several grain bins were left with holes.
The back wall of one barn was completely tore off and cows wandered
aimlessly around the property before finding their way back
— with the help of some neighbors and friends —
to a fenced-in area. They have since been sent to market, Jeanette
Across the road, Ronald and Lynn Broering found two barns destroyed
and minor home damage after the storm subsided.
“Thirty minutes before it hit, my daughter walked through
the garage and into the house. She had just gotten home from
her first (St. Henry) football game,” said Lynn Broering.
Broering said she just got to sleep when the wind tore a hole
in the garage roof and shattered the kitchen window. She and
her husband gathered their two sets of twins, ages 3 and 5,
in their arms, and headed for their basement as their daughters,
ages 10 and 7, followed.
“We couldn’t see the glass from the window, and
walked straight through it to the basement,” Lynn Broering
said. “Our feet got all cut up.”
Two of the family’s hay wagons were damaged, as well as
a truck stored in one of the destroyed barns, Lynn Broering
“All that was left standing from our new tool shed was
a 3- to 4-foot high cement wall,” she added.
Darke County EMA Director June Thompson was on the scene shortly
after the tornado struck and saw the devastation. She said she’s
seen high winds wildly pick up projectiles before, but this
“One picture that sticks in my head is the 2-by-4 piece
of wood jammed into the cement silo,” Thompson said.
Thompson said one of Siefring’s silos, completely full
of grain, was moved off its foundation. It was obvious to her
from the looks of the damage that a tornado had touched down.
“You could tell there was much more than straight line
winds.” Thompson said. “Debris doesn’t get
left on top of barn roofs like it did unless there’s a
twist in the wind direction,” she added.