Ohio woman, son, ride out tornado in closet

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APTOPIX Severe Weather Ohio

Residents sort through apartments open up to the air Tuesday, May 28, 2019, at the Westbrooke Village Apartments in Trotwood, Ohio, after the roof was torn off from a severe storm the night before. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on damaging storms across the central United States (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

An Ohio woman who survived a tornado outbreak in Ohio says she barricaded herself and her son in a closet as winds tore her apartment building’s roof off.

Erica Bohannon, of Trotwood, says she emerged from the closet Tuesday to find herself looking at the sky through the space where her ceiling had been.

Bohannon says she had to kick her way past debris to get out. She says she felt like there was nothing she could do to protect herself from the force of the storm.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF3 tornado with winds up to 140 mph (225.3 kph) hit Trotwood.

Authorities say Monday’s severe weather killed an 81-year-old man in Celina and injured dozens.

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12:20 p.m.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has identified two people who were killed when a tornado ripped through a central Oklahoma community over the weekend.

Spokeswoman Amy Elliott said Tuesday that 54-year-old Timothy Solis and 47-year-old Bridget Brockwell were killed when a tornado struck the Skyview Estates trailer park late Saturday night in El Reno, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City. Elliott says the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries to both victims.

El Reno officials say more than a dozen families were displaced when their homes were damaged in the tornado, which the National Weather Service says was an EF3 tornado with wind speeds of up to 165 mph (266 kph).

The tornado also destroyed a motel and damaged several other nearby structures.

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12:10 p.m.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in a central Indiana town where dozens of homes were damaged.

The weather service said Tuesday that a storm survey team determined that a tornado caused Monday’s damage in the Madison County town of Pendleton, just northeast of Indianapolis. The storm’s intensity and the length of its path haven’t been determined.

Monday evening’s storm damaged at least 75 homes in Pendleton, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis, and the nearby community of Huntsville.

No serious injuries were reported in the area or other parts of the state.

Pendleton residents were urged to remain in their homes Tuesday morning because of dangers posed by fallen trees, downed power lines and utility poles that were also blocking roads.

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12 p.m.

The fire chief in a small western Ohio city says besides one person killed and seven injured, as many as 90 homes have been damaged by apparent tornadoes that pounded through the region.

Celina (Suh-LEYE’-nuh) Chief Douglas Wolters estimates that 40 of the homes have significant damage. The mayor has said some were knocked off their foundations. Wolters says most people are staying with family or friends, but some went to shelter in nearby Coldwater.

Wolters says 81-year-old Melvin Dale Hannah died after a parked vehicle was blown into his home as he slept.

Mayor Jeff Hazel says there are “areas that truly look like a war zone” in the city of some 10,000 people, 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Dayton.

Dayton area hospitals have reported at least 60 injuries since a wave of severe storms swept through.

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11:25 a.m.

The National Weather Service says a wave of severe storms on Memorial Day included a tornado touching down near Boise, Idaho and eight weak tornadoes on Colorado’s northeastern plains.

Thunderstorms that produced the Colorado tornadoes dropped hail as large as tennis balls, with pea-sized hail reported in parts of the Denver area.

No damage was reported.

But in Ohio, severe weather that included apparent tornadoes killed an 81-year-old man and injured dozens of people.

There was considerable damage to homes in Indiana as well.

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10:40 a.m.

Authorities say an 81-year-old man has died after a vehicle slammed into his home as apparent tornadoes pounded through western Ohio.

Celina (suh-LYE’-nuh) Mayor Jeff Hazel tells reporters the man was among at least seven injured in the city some 80 miles (128.75 kilometers) northwest of Dayton. He says up to 40 homes were damaged Monday night, with some houses moved off their foundations by the storms.

He says first responders rescued some people from their homes overnight and were making a third sweep Tuesday to check for anyone else who might be trapped.

Hazel says: “It is devastating.”

Elizabeth Long, spokeswoman for the Kettering Health Network serving the Dayton region, says about 35 people were treated for storm-related cuts, bumps and bruises at the system’s four emergency department

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9:20 a.m.

Ohio’s governor plans to visit communities hard-hit by apparent tornadoes in the Dayton area. A spokesman for Republican Gov. Mike DeWine says a schedule will be released later Tuesday.

Among areas he plans to visit is Trotwood, an older Dayton suburb of some 24,500 people. Mayor Mary McDonald reports extensive, “catastrophic damage.” She says no deaths or serious injuries have been reported: “We’re blessed for that.”

She said five busloads of displaced residents have been taken to a church offering temporary shelter while the American Red Cross assesses needs. She says the community is getting a lot of help and support from federal, state, and local agencies, adding that “we need that level of support.”

Trotwood’s Hara Arena, idled in recent years after decades as a popular sports and entertainment venue, sustained “a huge amount of damage.”

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8:50 a.m.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says preliminary storm reports show that 52 tornadoes may have touched down Monday across eight states as waves of severe weather swept across the nation’s mid-section.

A tally of storm reports posted online by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, shows that 14 suspected tornadoes touched down in Indiana, 10 in Colorado and nine in Ohio.

Six suspected tornadoes were reported in Iowa, five in Nebraska, four in Illinois, three in Minnesota, while one suspected tornado was reported in Idaho in the West.

No fatalities were immediately reported.

Patrick Marsh is the Storm Prediction Center’s warning coordination meteorologist. He says National Weather Service crews were heading to the affected areas to determine if tornadoes caused the damage, or high winds.

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8:45 a.m.

The police chief of a small Ohio city says overnight storms severely damaged the local high school, flipped cars and destroyed some houses.

Brookville chief Doug Jerome said Tuesday that at least half the homes in a single subdivision sustained serious damage. But Jerome says no fatalities were reported in the city, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Dayton, and only three minor injuries.

Jerome said the storm took off part of the roof at Brookville High School, tossed some cars into houses and ripped up numerous large trees.

A series of apparent tornadoes caused extensive damage in Dayton and communities north and northwest of the city, and also destroyed homes in Indiana.

Actor Rob Lowe, a Dayton native, tweeted “Praying for my hometown” on Tuesday.

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8 a.m.

Authorities in Dayton, Ohio, say a series of apparent tornadoes caused a few minor injuries but no reported fatalities within the city.

Dayton Fire Chief Jeffrey Payne called that “pretty miraculous” during a Tuesday morning briefing. Payne attributed the good news to people heeding early warnings about the storm.

Residents say sirens started going off around 10:30 p.m. Monday ahead of the storm.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley urged residents to check on neighbors, especially those who are housebound.

Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein says a boil advisory has been issued for residents after the storms cut power to Dayton’s pump stations. She says generators are being rushed in.

The storms caused severe damage in communities northwest of Dayton, where officials were still assessing damage, and also damaged at least 75 homes in Indiana.

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7:15 a.m.

The president has tweeted his support for tornado survivors in Oklahoma, where two people were killed and 29 were injured by a twister that struck a motel and mobile home park over the weekend.

Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he spoke with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt from Japan and told him that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the “federal government are fully behind him and the great people of Oklahoma.”

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6:25 a.m.

Emergency crews are going door-to-door checking homes in Indiana after damaging storms spawned apparent tornadoes in the state and in Ohio.

Madison County Emergency Management spokesman Todd Harmeson says least 75 homes were damaged in Pendleton and the nearby community of Huntsville. No serious injuries were reported in the area or other parts of the state where possible tornadoes hit Monday night.

Madison County authorities say roads in Pendleton, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis, are blocked with trees, downed power lines and utility poles. Pendleton High School is open as a shelter.

The National Weather Service says a survey team will investigate damage in Madison County and possibly in Henry County. Another team may survey damage in Tippecanoe County.

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6 a.m.

The energy company serving the Dayton, Ohio, area says at least 64,000 customers are without power following a series of apparent tornadoes.

Dayton Power & Light said in a tweet early Tuesday it was undertaking a “multi-day restoration effort” and urged customers to make emergency backup plans.

The National Weather Service reported earlier more than 70,000 outages across Ohio, affecting more than 5 million people.

The service confirmed Monday night that a “large and dangerous tornado” hit near Trotwood, Ohio, outside of Dayton.

The storm tore roofs off several apartment buildings in Trotwood.

Multiple schools are closed or starting late around Dayton following the storm damage.

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2:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service says there are more 70,000 power outages across the state of Ohio, affecting over 5 million people.

The service tweeted Tuesday morning that to send reports of outages via social media or email if possible.

It also says the tornado threat has “exited our area of responsibility.”

The service confirmed Monday night that a “large and dangerous tornado” hit near Trotwood, Ohio, outside of Dayton. ___

1:45 a.m.

An Indiana town was heavily damaged by storms, including reports of two tornados.

WRTV-TV reports that Madison County Emergency Management spokesman Todd Harmeson said Tuesday morning that, “We do not know at this time if this was a tornado, straight-line winds or what the cause was” of damage in Pendleton. He says there are several videos floating around that show funnel clouds but that the National Weather Service will make that determination.

Harmeson says residents should stay indoors due to energized downed powerlines on the ground. “We just believe at this time it is not safe,” he said. He says an estimated 4,000 people are without power.

Pendleton residents being evacuated can go to the Pendleton High School cafeteria for shelter.

Pendleton is 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis.

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12:23 a.m.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is using snow plows to remove debris off an Ohio highway after a “large and dangerous” tornado hit the area late Monday.

Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning said its crews are using several plows to scrape debris off to the side of southbound Interstate 75, trying to get the highway reopened as soon as possible. “We’ll do a more thorough cleaning after we get lanes opened,” he told the Associated Press via text early Tuesday. He said tow trucks eventually will have to deal with damaged vehicles along the roadway, too. He said other crews are also clearing debris northwest of Dayton in Mercer and Darke counties. Trying to clear the debris in the middle of the night is a difficult task, complicated by darkness and downed power lines, Bruning said.

The National Weather Service confirmed Monday night that a “large and dangerous tornado” hit near Trotwood, Ohio, outside of Dayton.

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