PREBLE COUNTY — The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado did touch down in Preble County last week.
On Monday, March 14, at approximately 1:38 p.m., the twister occurred northwest of Wheatville, lasting only two minutes and earning ef1 status – which causes wind speeds between 86 to 110 miles per hour.
The NWS estimated the tornado reached a top speed of 100 MPH, however, while it reached a maximum path width of 75 yards and a path length of 1.1 miles.
In a press release, the NWS assessed the damage and stated the following:
“Damage was first observed northwest of Wheatville along State Route 122 between Quaker Trace Road and Yost Road. This is believed to be where the tornado first touched down. A section of wood and metal roofing material measuring approximately 55 feet by 15 feet was lifted from the northeast side of a barn and strewn for approximately 100 feet to the northeast…and a lesser distance to the northwest. A utility pole was also snapped at this location.
“Eyewitness accounts from the residents indicated the damage resulted from a visible circulation that passed through the property. The residents also pointed out a section of metal roofing material from this location that was carried approximately 0.35 miles north-northeast and deposited in an area of trees. The damage here was assessed to be in the mid-range ef1 category.
“A second debris field was found along Halderman Road just west of the intersection with Quaker Trace Road. A barn measuring approximately 65 feet by 45 feet was completely destroyed just south of the road. Wood and metal roofing material from this barn was strewn over approximately one-half mile in a very confined path. The debris was oriented to the north-northeast for much of the total distance…though an initial jog to the west was visible in the immediate vicinity of the barn. The final pieces of debris were visible in a field about one-quarter mile north of Halderman Road. No further damage was observed or reported north of this Location…so this area is believed to be where the tornado lifted.
“A close inspection of the barn was not possible due to its location on private property…but the visible debris and available aerial imagery indicated it was not of new construction. It is also unknown if any parts of the structure were open to the wind prior to being destroyed. For these reasons the damage at this location was also assessed to be in the mid-range ef1 category.”
Reach Jeremy Erskine at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.