Brown, Clermont Counties' Three Tornadoes Push DeWine to Declare State of Emergency

"We will ensure that Brown and Clermont counties continue to receive the state resources they need," Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says.

click to enlarge Three tornadoes hit Clermont and Brown counties on July 6. - Photo: Nikolas Noonan, Unsplash
Photo: Nikolas Noonan, Unsplash
Three tornadoes hit Clermont and Brown counties on July 6.

The damage from the July 6 tornadoes in Greater Cincinnati was so severe that even the state is acknowledging it.

On July 13, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency for Brown and Clermont counties, where three tornadoes had touched down and caused extensive damage and several days of electrical outages.

"Brown and Clermont counties were hit with severe storms and three confirmed tornadoes that affected the life, health, safety, and welfare of many residents. We're blessed that no one was killed in this storm, but it truly brings home to us how fragile life is, and how in one minute, the world can fundamentally change," DeWine says in an emailed statement. "By declaring this state of emergency, we will ensure that Brown and Clermont counties continue to receive the state resources they need."

DeWine's proclamation reads in part:
WHEREAS, the impact of these events is affecting the life, health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Ohio, particularly in Brown and Clermont Counties, where debris in the public right- of-way is creating risks of flooding and impeding the ability to provide public service support to residents impacted by the storms and the ability to make temporary and permanent repairs to utilities
The proclamation allows state agencies to assist with recovery efforts and permits local agencies to pause purchasing contracts. In DeWine's statement, the governor notes that the Ohio Department of Transportation will assist Brown and Clermont counties.

The tornado in Goshen has gotten the most attention, but the National Weather Service in Wilmington says that there also were tornadoes in Loveland and Lake Lorelei
"Early in the morning on July 6th, a band of training storms moved from northeast Indiana southeast through west-central Ohio and central Ohio, producing a swath of 2-6" of rain near this corridor," the agency says. "By the afternoon, a large complex of storms track east from central Indiana through east-central Indiana and the Tri-State area, producing large swaths of significant straight-line wind damage and a few tornadoes."

The NWS has classified the Goshen tornado as an EF2, with winds of 111-135 MPH. Goshen Township Administrator Steve Pegram declared a state of emergency, when about 200 buildings had been classified as damaged or demolished at that point, including the fire and police departments. The tornado ripped roofs from a number of structures, and lightning and falling trees caused even more damage to buildings and roads, Pegram said. He added that three people were injured. 
The NWS said that the tornado began in Pleasant Plain in Clermont County and gathered strength as it moved southwest to Goshen, where it measured 750 yards wide and had winds of 130 MPH at its peak. The tornado then continued southeast to Newtonsville, where it eventually petered out. The destructive event ran from 3:06 p.m.-3:14 p.m. and ran for about 4.5 miles, the NWS said.

The agency said that the Loveland tornado was an EF1, with winds of 86-110 MPH. It began at 2:57 p.m. July 6, ran for .75 miles and was 100 yards wide at its peak. The tornado caused roof and fence damage, loosened house siding and uprooted trees, the NWS said.

The tornado in Lake Lorelei also was an EF1, the NWS reported. It reached 250 yards wide and traveled 3.4 miles between 3:17 p.m. and 3:21 p.m. Lake Lorelei and Brown County in general saw significant tree damage, plus the tornado there lifted porches from homes.
Officials in Clermont County, where the Goshen tornado did extensive damage, said that all roads have been cleared of debris and are open to traffic, but congestion continues to be a problem for recovery efforts.

Many Duke Energy customers throughout the tri-state lost power last week, including more than 100,000 on July 6.

Clermont County's emergency management team said this week that it's transitioning to a "community-driven recovery," with local organizations and volunteer groups providing assistance. Residents can call 513-735-8500 for help. There also is a tornado relief fund in place.

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