Gov. Mike DeWine declares a state of emergency in central Ohio after severe weather

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s governor has declared a state of emergency in 11 counties across central Ohio struck by severe weather last week.

Gov. Mike DeWine also activated the Ohio National Guard to help officials in one county, Logan County, where three deaths were confirmed, with the cleanup of storm debris on public property. DeWine announced the emergency declaration Sunday.

The declaration also covers Auglaize, Crawford, Darke, Delaware, Hancock, Licking, Mercer, Miami, Richland and Union counties. It orders all relevant state departments and agencies to lend their services, equipment, supplies, and personnel to aid in response and recovery efforts, the governor’s office said.

Joe Baker's damaged home in Valleyview, Ohio
Joe Baker’s damaged home in Valleyview, Ohio, on Saturday, March 16, 2024. Thursday night’s storms left trails of destruction across parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas. [Patrick Orsagos | AP]
Thursday night’s storms claimed three lives in the Indian Lake area of Logan County, one of the hardest-hit regions.

The storms also left trails of destruction across parts of Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas. About 40 people were injured and dozens of homes were damaged in one Indiana community. Tornadoes were also reported in Illinois and Missouri.

The National Weather Service confirmed nine tornados in Ohio, including an EF-3 tornado that began in southern Auglaize County near Fryburg and continued through the Lakeview area in northern Logan County. Forecasters say EF-3 tornados can pack winds up to 136 to 165 mph (219 to 266 kph).

EF-2 tornados – which forecasters say can have winds up to 111 to 135 mph (179 to 218 kph) — were confirmed in central Union County and in Darke and Miami counties as well as in Crawford/Richland counties.