Last updated: August 24. 2013 5:58AM - 165 Views

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GLANDORF - A tornado ripped through Putnam County this morning, damaging or destroying eight homes and one business. There were no reports of injuries or deaths due to the storm, though.

The tornado touched down near Road 13-I, between Road I and Road J in Putnam County, at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning, said Josh Walters, assistant coordinator of the Putnam County Emergency Management Agency. The largest swath of damage focused on Road 12, Road 13 and Road 13-I, although residents reported scattered damage throughout the county.

"I must've been right nearby when it came through, but all I noticed were the strong winds and rain so bad I could barely see the front end of my truck," Walters said.

The storm ripped roofs off homes in the area. Mighty winds ripped the roof off one home and leveled walls inside the home to the ground, while others just feet away remained essentially untouched.

Siding hung from trees as if a high school prankster had decorated them with toilet paper. Downed power lines crisscrossed the roads. Yard ornaments and mailboxes landed hundreds of feet from their rightful homes, as powerful winds. Uprooted trees and tilting utility poles were the norm.

Walters said he felt comfortable declaring the storm a tornado after looking at the damage early this morning. Some winds pushed items down to the west, suggesting tornadic activity. Officials from the National Weather Service are in the area this morning to look at the damage and will make their official assessments.

Officials asked onlookers to stay away from the areas of Road 12, Road 13 and Road 13-I until utility companies properly handed the damage. The storm knocked out Paulding-Putnam Electric Cooperative customers along the path.

Officials are back on the scene this morning to better assess the damage.

At least four of the homes are uninhabitable, Walters said. In each of the cases, families heard the tornado warning siren nearby, located at the intersection of Road 12 and state Route 694, and found safe places in their homes.

One of the first calls for assistance came from the damaged home of Charles Schroeder. The county's 911 dispatcher received a call from the home, saying they believed the storm had ripped their roof off, Walters said. Walters transported the family to a nearby relative's home.

"Most of these people were families," Walters said, who estimated 20 people were evacuated early Saturday morning. "We did have one elderly couple, but they seemed to be doing as well as you could expect."

The American Red Cross set up an emergency shelter immediately following the tornado. All of the families affected ended up staying with friends or relatives instead.

This story was first posted at 1:05 a.m. and updated at 1:20 a.m., 1:35 a.m. 3:35 a.m., 9:50 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Read more about this story later today on limaohio.com and in Sunday's The Lima News.

Tornado touches down in Putnam County

Tornado touches down in Putnam County
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