A suspected tornado struck eastern Van Wert County yesterday afternoon. A storm cell moved through eastern Van Wert County at 5:10 p.m. EST just west of Delphos and caused damage over a 1.5-mile-long area, according to Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy.
McCoy said that based on witness reports and observed damage, it appeared that a tornado moved through the area but he was waiting on official confirmation from the National Weather Service (NWS). A survey team from the northern Indiana NWS office is scheduled to assess the site this afternoon.
McCoy’s own survey of the area and interviews with residents provided the following information:
The possible tornado initially touched down in a corn field east of Brickner Road, one tenth of a mile south of Lincoln Highway, which is 1.25 miles west of Delphos. The damage path in the corn field was 25 yards wide, where some corn stalks had been flattened and others ripped out of the ground and carried across Brickner Road.
The storm then crossed Brickner Road, moving to the northeast through a bean field.
It then struck the Craig Beining property at 10671 Brickner Road, ripping numerous shingles off a barn roof and tearing a barn door off of north side of barn.
The storm then crossed Lincoln Highway and struck the Joe Wittler property at 23121 Lincoln Highway, where it uprooted a tree and tore numerous limbs out of several trees. It then ripped a barn door off the east side of a Morton building, ripped off a door on the north side of a larger barn and tore numerous slate shingles from the barn’s roof.
Wittler told McCoy he saw the storm approaching but the possible tornado was wrapped in rain, so all he could see was all the shingles from the neighbor’s barn swirling around in the rain as it came at him. He said he heard a loud “whoosh” and that it hit before the family could even get to the basement.
The storm path continued northeastward, cutting through two bean fields and then crossed Pohlman Road. It then cut through another bean field and then came to the Gordon Moenter property, located at 9874 Shenk Road
There, McCoy found a damage path in a field that was 25 yards wide. The storm split a large tree and tore the roof off of a barn. McCoy found the roof in splintered pieces across the road and in a bean field. The storm also tore the barn door off the east side of another barn.
The storm path then continued northeastward through two more bean fields, where the damage path ended before it reached the intersection of U.S. 30 and the Ohio State Route 66.
The total damage path was 1.5 miles long. No injuries or damage to homes were reported.
McCoy estimated the tornado as high end EF-0 damage.
The vigorous storm system that moved through the area yesterday had been forecast several days in advance with the possibility of isolated tornadoes.