Cleanup begins in neighborhood after Tipp City tornado

TIPP CITY, Ohio — In the neighborhood behind the Meijer distribution center in Tipp City, the cleanup was just beginning. Shingles were torn from roofs, outdoor shelters were destroyed, and trees were mutilated and uprooted.

The owners, however, considered themselves lucky. There were no injuries and damage to their neighborhood from Wednesday night’s tornado was light compared to the partially collapsed distribution facility across the street.

What do you want to know

  • The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF-2 tornado touched down in Tipp City
  • The storm damaged a Meijer distribution center and several homes
  • No injuries were reported in Miami County

Thomas Bennett said minor damage was done to his roof by a tornado. (Michelle Alfini/Spectrum News 1)

Thomas Bennett spent Thursday morning inspecting the damage to his home, talking to roofers and collecting the scattered contents of his shed.

“Most of it is in ruins, my lawn mower, I had an air compressor,” he said.

Bennett said the storm picked up the shed right behind his house, throwing it and its contents into a ditch, but other than a few missing shingles, a lost chair and loose siding, he said his house weathered the storm relatively unscathed.

“It could have gone through our house or through their house,” he said.

According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 tornado ripped through Miami County on Wednesday, leaving a path of minor destruction in the Bennett neighborhood before rolling into the Meijer Distribution Center a block away.

“It felt like I had little damage,” Bennett said. “It’s like a big deal there.”

Bennett recalled the warnings coming from his phone around 6 p.m. He said he didn’t think much of it until he felt a gust of wind coming through a partially open window. It was then that Bennett grabbed the dog and ran to the basement.

“Then the crash started,” he said. “The pressure came, hurt all of our ears.”

The Meijer Distribution Center in Tipp City suffered a partial roof collapse due to a tornado. (Michelle Alfini/Spectrum News 1)

That’s when Bennett said he knew it was a tornado. He had lived a decade earlier while living in upstate New York. Since then, he said he was careful about the weather.

“Every house we built, I insisted on having a basement for that reason,” he said.

In his neighborhood, most homes sustained minor damage, but the one closest to the tornado’s supposed path had several windows shattered and part of its roof torn off. It was also a model home. Bennett said no one lives there and it was empty when the storm passed.

As of Thursday afternoon, no injuries were reported in Miami County. Bennett considered this a blessing.

The hardest hit home on Bennett’s block was a model home with no one inside. (Michelle Alfini/Spectrum News 1)

He said insurance should cover most of the damage to his home and the cleanup process has already begun.

“It was scary but we’ll get through this, won’t we?” he said.

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