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Ohio Governor Declares State Of Emergency After Tornadoes Strike Dayton Region

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Severe storms swept through Indiana and western Ohio last night, killing one person and injuring at least 60. Ohio's governor has declared a state of emergency for the part of the state that includes the Dayton area. The National Weather Service says it appears two tornadoes struck that region within minutes of each other. From member station WYSO in nearby Yellow Springs, Jess Mador reports.

JESSICA MADOR, BYLINE: The massive storms struck Monday night, beginning just before 9 o'clock. They continued for hours, sparking more than three dozen tornado warnings and a flash flood warning in what National Weather Service forecasters are calling a high-impact event. The storms hurled so much debris into the air, it could be seen on radar.

Overnight, state highway crews deployed snowplows to clear downed trees and rubble from an interstate. At daybreak, emergency crews began the work of clearing streets of debris, stabilizing Dayton's water treatment facility and trying to restore power to tens of thousands of customers across the Dayton area.

The one reported fatality from the storm occurred when winds blew a parked car into a house. National Weather Service meteorologist Myron Padgett says so far, he's confirmed one EF3 tornado with winds of up to 140 miles an hour.

MYRON PADGETT: It's not very common that we have this type of magnitude and amount of tornadic activity in one particular area, so it certainly is a fairly rare occurrence and would not be a usual event.

(SOUNDBITE OF GENERATOR RUNNING)

MADOR: In a busy residential and shopping district northwest of Dayton, the sound of generators and hammers are filling the air at a group home facility for people with disabilities. Two dozen workers are clambering along a roof, replacing missing tiles. Wet insulation and plywood pokes through a ripped-out wall. Timothy Neville runs this facility. He says he's grateful staff were able to evacuate residents from the building in time last night.

TIMOTHY NEVILLE: I actually spoke with the staff this morning when they came back over. And they were just rejoicing when they saw the damage that they were able to get out of there safely.

MADOR: Dayton's power company says it could take several more days before electricity is fully restored across the region. Many Dayton-area residents are being told to continue boiling their drinking water until further notice.

For NPR News, I'm Jess Mador. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.