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(Wilmington, Ohio) — Storm surveyors from the National Weather Service Office in Wilmington are confirming that a tornado or tornadoes caused some of the damage seen in Ross and Highland counties, Friday night and early Saturday morning.
NWS said in a public statement on their Twitter site- “It is apparent that a tornado did touchdown west-southwest of South Salem and another within South Salem in Ross County.” NWS surveyors also confirmed twister touchdowns “near Frankfort between Albright Mill Road and Cattail Road” and “2-3 miles west-northwest of Kingston.”
The twister west-southwest of South Salem was classified as EF0, Frankfort was EF0 and another in South Salem between the cemetery and Sunseth Park was the largest at EF2. The Kingston area storm was an EF1 in southern Pickaway County along Wolfe Road.
In Highland County, where the storm system originated, NWS confirms a tornado touched down “6-7 miles west of Hillsboro was EF0 and again 3-5 miles northeast of Hillsboro was EF1.”
Tornado warnings from this storm system were issued for Highland, Ross, Pickaway and Fairfield counties in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 16th.
There has been a report of a minor injury to a child- hit by debris. A two-level home was destroyed near South Salem with serious damage to other homes and multiple reports of trees, power lines and damaged barns were coming in around the region.
Ross County Commissioner James Oody Lowe posted a message on his Facebook page Saturday, urging people not involved with the cleanup operation near South Salem to stay away. “I’m in South Salem as a county commissioner, the village was hit pretty hard by last night storm. Please, everyone that is sightseeing stay away as the cleanup has begun. The roads leading into the village are blocked and for emergency vehicles. No injuries and spirits are high.”
ODOT was working early Saturday to clear State Route 41 near Greenfield of trees and downed power lines.