By JIM LANGHAM • Feature Writer
Paulding County EMA director Randy Shaffer spent much of Monday investigating Sunday’s storm damage in several Paulding County areas to determine whether actual tornado activity had occurred or there had been damage as a result of large straight line wind gusts.
That damage was closely related, geographically to what appears to be massive tornado damage in Cloverdale, located about four miles to the southeast of the trailer. Other barn damage and pole and wire damage occurred in that area.
On Tuesday, Shaffer said that the National Weather Service determined that a mobile home on Road 12 near Road 203 southeast of Mandale had been destroyed by an F2 tornado, probably the same twister that struck Cloverdale.
Other damage occurred along Ohio 114, where a roof was taken off of a dairy barn just west of Ohio 49 south of Payne, a grain bin hurled across a field near the intersection of County Road 83 and Ohio 111, another mobile home destroyed on Road 48 at Ohio 66, and County Road 144, where several poles and wires were felled, causing a large power outage on the north side of Paulding.
No injuries have been reported.
At noon on Monday, Shaffer was conferring with the National Weather Service to determine the nature of the damage. Shaffer said he concluded that all Paulding County damage, except for the trailer on Road 12, had occurred as a result of straight line winds in the powerful supercell thunderstorm.
Monday morning, officials from American Electric Power reported that there were still 1,835 customers without power in Paulding County. Paulding-Putnam Electric Cooperative had another 2,200 customers with outages.
As of Tuesday morning, AEP had restored power to all but 132 customers, and PPEC to all but 20 customers.
Paulding Schools and numerous businesses were closed due to power outages.
For Paulding County residents Erika Miller and James Kraegel, surviving Sunday’s storm with their aunt and uncle, Jerry and Kim Shaffer was more than luck, there was a real miracle involved.
That “miracle,” said Kim Shaffer, was the survival of their little pup, actually named Miracle. Although Miller and Kraegel and their two children – ages 14 months and 1 week – were with the Shaffers, their little pup was in the trailer. Needless to say, there were tears when family members pulled up to the destroyed trailer at the corner of Road 48 and Ohio 66 and little Miracle came running out from under the debris, wagging his tail, and running over to them.
“This dog has been a miracle through and through,” said Shaffer. “He almost died when he was born. Now he survived this.”
Shaffer said that she and her husband has a feeling that they should ask their family to leave the mobile home and come to their home, just down the road. In fact, five minutes before the storm, Kraegel was sleeping in the trailer. Kim Shaffer urged him to come to their home and the storm hit immediately after.
Rick Noggle, Red Cross disaster chairman for Paulding County, told the Progress that the Red Cross had aided the family of four with access to food and clothing.
Sunday’s storm was part of a massive storm complex that originated in severity in central Illinois where the Peoria suburb of Washington, population 16,000, was nearly flattened. For the next several hours, the line remained strong as tornadoes formed consistently while the squall line marched across Illinois, Indiana and into western Ohio around 4 p.m.
Randy Shaffer sounded county tornado sirens around 4 p.m.
The storm that affected Paulding County built from Lafayette, Ind., to Kokomo, where there was considerable tornado damage in Howard County, to Marion, Ind., where there was also significant storm damage, and then into Van Wert and Paulding counties. As it moved into this area, it appears a tornado dropped from the storm rotation in northeast Van Wert County and into the Cloverdale area. There was significant damage in many parts of Putnam County.
Van Wert County EMA director Rick McCoy said he tracked confirmed tornado damage in extreme northeast Van Wert County. The trajectory of that storm was aimed at Cloverdale, said McCoy.
Noggle said some Red Cross volunteers from Paulding County were scheduled to go to the Cloverdale area on Tuesday to provide assistance there.
Randy Shaffer has provided the following information about the tornado touchdown:
...TORNADO /PAULDING COUNTY OH AND PUTNAM COUNTY OH/...
PATH LENGTH: 8 MILES
MAXIMUM ESTIMATED WIND SPEED: 130 MPH
MAXIMUM ESTIMATED PATH WIDTH: 440 YARDS
START TIME: ESTIMATED AROUND 451 PM
EST ?END TIME: ESTIMATED AROUND 459 PM
EST ?LOCATION: TOUCHDOWN OCCURRED ABOUT 0.25 MILES SOUTH OF THE INTERSECTION OF ROUTE 66 AND COUNTY LINE ROAD IN SOUTHEAST PAULDING COUNTY AND LIFTED ABOUT 5 MILES NORTHEAST OF CLOVERDALE IN WEST CENTRAL PUTNAM COUNTY