Video captured the damage caused by a large and dangerous tornado that struck Dayton, Ohio and its surrounding communities. Tornadoes were also reported in several other Ohio counties. You can see videos of the destruction and severe weather throughout this article. Live scanner reports captured a flurry of rescue activity that continued well into the morning in Dayton-area communities like Trotwood, Brookville, and Beavercreek.
In the morning, Montgomery County announced there were widespread power outages but no fatalities and released this map of affected areas. The National Weather Service announced it would be surveying damage in Celina, New Madison, Laura, Dayton, and Laurelville.
“You can definitely see the path of the tornado…there is extensive property damage, residences, businesses, trees uprooted, power outages, gas. It’s pretty extensive,” the Montgomery County sheriff, Rob Streck, said on NBC. He said there had been no serious injuries, calling that “amazing when you see the amount of damage that was done.” He said secondary search teams were going out to look inside houses, however. “There are some rural areas that were affected.” He mentioned Trotwood and Brookville. In a press conference, authorities indicated there were three minor injuries.
Rescuers were extricating trapped people. They were tending to the injured. They referred to a house that was cut in half, another that was leveled, and other buildings were described as “collapsed.” At least 12 people were injured in Mercer County, Ohio.
One person was described as having a head injury. “A large, dangerous tornado touched down last night in northwest Montgomery County, we are focused on supporting life saving measures, such as shutting down gas lines or locating people who are trapped by debris. Call 911 or contact your local fire station for emergency assistance,” that county wrote on Twitter.
A house was “completely flattened…a female possibly missing. They don’t know if she was home or not,” said another rescuer on the scanner. Mary McDonald, the mayor of Trotwood, Ohio, which is near Dayton, wrote on Facebook: “Trotwood is in a search and rescue mode. Call 911 if you need help….Trotwood is in a search and rescue mode. Call 911 if you need help.” She told an NBC affiliate that apartment complexes were being evacuated.
Pictures also captured the severe damage.
It was not yet clear how many were wounded or whether there were deaths. However, the National Weather Service office that serves Dayton, Ohio confirmed that a tornado touched ground in the Dayton, Ohio area, calling it large and dangerous.
Rescues were underway early in the morning of May 28, 2019.
Businesses sustained damage.
The damage to the Dayton metropolitan area was described by one journalist as “catastrophic” and “unbelievable.”
Various suburban Dayton communities were affected; in Trotwood, the mayor reported “extensive” damage throughout the community.
In Brookville, school was cancelled for May 28 after part of the roof blew off, the superintendent said to WHIO-TV. On the scanner, rescuers referred to “major damage” and roofs being gone.
“We have a house that was cut in half over here,” a rescuer said on the scanner around 12:23 a.m. on May 28, 2019. Medics were on the scene responding to numerous calls.
Rescuers were discussing efforts to extricate people. “Multiple structures collapsed…one person trapped,” said another rescuer on the scanner. They referred to the “Westbrook corridor” as an area seeing particular damage.
Some well-known buildings were damaged, including a gas station and religious center. The steeple snapped at the New Life Worship Center, but no one inside was injured, even as 25 people clustered in a bathroom for safety, per scanner reports:
Photos showed a destroyed gas station.
According to WHIO-TV, damage included roofs gone in Dayton; damaged houses in Riverside; injuries and damage in Brookville (including to the high school and on Westbrook); and in other areas in the Dayton metropolitan area.
The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in Trotwood, writing, “[11:00 PM] CONFIRMED LARGE AND DANGEROUS TORNADO ON THE GROUND NEAR TROTWOOD, OHIO. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION. TAKE COVER NOW IN NORTHERN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, OHIO. DO NOT TRY TO SPOT AT NIGHTTIME!” People were described on the scanner as “bleeding.”
Here’s what you need to know:
People Shared Videos & Other Accounts on Social Media
Citizens took to social media to share evidence of the damage. One man wrote that it was the first time he had encountered a tornado, and shared the above photos. Rescuers on the scanner spoke of the smell of gas from building collapses.
“We will send the walking wounded to Trinity,” a rescuer said.
Reporter Sean Cudahy of WHIO-TV reported that “virtually an entire neighborhood (was) destroyed” in Celina. On scanner traffic, rescue officials referred to “wounded” people and were conducting searches.
“We’re searching as well as we can,” said one rescuer on the scanner. Wires and downed trees made passing some streets difficult or even impossible. “All the lines down in the road,” said another rescuer on the scanner.
People were asked to avoid I-75 north of downtown Dayton because of tornado debris that required snowplows to clear from the roadways, according to the state Department of Transportation.
“DAYTON: Avoid I-75 north of downtown Dayton. Our crews are assisting with debris clean up from a tornado that hit about an hour ago. Please give them and emergency crews room to work,” wrote the Ohio Department of transportation.
The tornado threat to Dayton was waning, though.
The National Weather Service office serving Dayton wrote this: “[12:02 AM] Currently there is no radar-confirmed or spotter-confirmed tornado activity. However, multiple storms remain capable of producing tornadoes. Do not let your guard down. There are still several dangerous storms moving through the area!”
The scanner carried reports of people being trapped in a basement in Trotwood, Ohio and gas leaks in Montgomery County in the suburbs of Dayton. “We have heavy debris,” rescuers said.
People shared photos of hail.
“[11:40 PM] DEBRIS BEING LOFTED INTO THE AIR FROM A TORNADO NEAR VANDALIA OHIO MOVING SOUTH. TAKE COVER IN SHILOH, DAYTON, NORTHRIDGE, AND HUBER HEIGHTS. THIS IS A DANGEROUS SITUATION!!!” the NWS office wrote. A minute earlier, this report: “Suspected tornado near Vandalia as of 11:38. Crossing the path of the first tornado.”
The NWS warned people that the tornado was threatening Dayton: “[11:34 PM] NEW TORNADO THREAT FOR THE DAYTON METRO AREA. STORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO LOCATED NEAR ENGLEWOOD MOVING SOUTHEAST. TAKE COVER NOW IN THE DAYTON AREA!!!!” wrote NWS. And this: “[11:22 PM] NEW TORNADO THREAT FOR EXTREME NORTHERN MONTGOMERY COUNTY AND SOUTHERN MIAMI COUNTY. ANOTHER TORNADO POSSIBLE NEAR THE COUNTY LINE. TAKE SHELTER NOW!”
The extent of damage was not yet clear but seemed severe.
“We just took a direct hit from a tornado. Our street is in ruins! Urbana Avenue @whiotv NO SIRENS HEARD!” one person wrote on Twitter.