VAN WERT — The National Weather Service says it was an EF-0 tornado that touched down Friday evening in Van Wert County.
According to a news release by Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy, the tornado struck shortly before 7 p.m. three miles southeast of Van Wert. The tornado remained on the ground for only one mile, judging from eyewitness accounts as well as a damage survey conducted by McCoy using drones.
The tornado’s path began a half-mile east of Mendon Road between Brodnix Road and Wren Landeck Road in the middle of a cornfield, according to McCoy. It then traveled northwest, striking two homes at the corner of Mendon Road and Wren Landeck Road and causing minor damage to both structures. The tornado then made its way through two more cornfields before hitting a woods between Mendon Road and Peter Collins Road. The funnel completely dissipated at U.S. Route 127 just south of the golf course.
The tornado was measured at 180 yards wide at one point, destroying corn plants and damaging trees. However, there were no injuries reported.
McCoy says they were alerted to the possibility of cold air funnels, but “this event turned out not to be the cold air funnel that could have occurred across the region but an actual tornado,” McCoy stated in the news release.
No tornado warnings were issued by the National Weather Service.
McCoy said he “first received a phone call from the National Weather Service at 6:51 p.m. advising that a storm cell near Glenmore and another storm cell southeast of Van Wert were merging and was producing very heavy rain and the collision of the two was reason to watch the storms in the event it tried to spin up something.”
McCoy then contacted the Sheriff Department to be on the lookout for anything developing. At 7 p.m., a local storm spotter located in Ohio City advised that he was told by several people that they had observed two funnels merge into one north of Ohio City. However, nothing was on the ground at that time.
At 7:02 p.m. the Sheriff’s office reported that it received a number of emergency calls about a possible funnel near U.S. Route 127 south of Van Wert. McCoy was watching the storm at that time from Van Wert, determining that it was dissipating quickly and creating a great deal of rain.
“Unfortunately, no reports were called into Law Enforcement and EMA that the tornado was on the ground, and it was later in the evening when photos and videos started surfacing on social media that a confirmation was then made that a tornado had actually touched down,” McCoy noted in the release.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.