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National Weather Service: Tornadoes struck Clermont, Brown counties

Possible tornado strikes Brown County village
Possible tornado strikes Brown County village
Possible tornado strikes Brown County village
Posted at 5:42 AM, Feb 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 07:42:45-05

HAMERSVILLE, Ohio -- The National Weather Service has confirmed two separate tornadoes touched down in Ohio early Sunday morning. 

One tornado struck southwest of Felicity in Clermont County, and another touched down near Hamersville in Brown County. 

The tornado near Felicity first touched down along Neville-Penn Schoolhouse Road at about 12:03 a.m. Sunday. The tornado was rated EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, the National Weather Service determined. 

Additional surveying will take place Monday to determine details on the Brown County tornado. 

Kathleen Williams, public information officer for Clermont County, told WCPO she's "not aware" of any serious injuries of deaths related to the tornado. 

Brown County also sustained serious storm damage. For one family, prayers, pillows and a twin mattress were the only protection as a tornado blasted through a small community overnight Saturday into Sunday.

Hamersville residents heard two minutes of that classic freight-train sound. And then, silence.

Danielle Riley huddled with her children in their home's bathroom.

"Like I said, there was probably five of us," she said. "First thing we did was grab a twin mattress, and you could just hear the wind, I mean, howling. It was frightful, very frightful."

No injuries were immediately reported. But outside, the damage was clear: Wind tossed a tree across the street and onto the Rileys' car, crushing in its roof.

At the village's old firehouse, the roof was ripped off and tossed down the road. Some of it was carried 100 yards. One part was left dangling from a tree.

GALLERY: Photos of the damage in Hamersville

The firehouse debris whipped over the top of Bobbie Thomas' home, sparing it. Thomas didn't think much of the warning sirens at first; but then she saw the trees whipping around and closed her door just in time.

"We heard -- it did, it literally sounded like a freight train. And the next thing I knew, things were blowing in the roadway, you know, it was bad, it was really bad. It was very scary," Thomas said.

Fire Chief Denny Schneider had trouble even getting to the new firehouse because of all the debris and electric lines blocking the main road. About 25 members of the Hamersville Clark Township Volunteer Fire Department were cleaning up early Sunday.

Southwest of Hamersville, in Felicity, a 150-year-old barn collapsed in the storms.  Somehow, all 23 chickens inside survived. The owners had moved in just a few months ago.

Damage reports also came in from Washington Township, Monroe Township, Franklin Township and Neville in Clermont County.

The National Weather Service plans to do a damage survey later in the day, which will help determine if a tornado did, indeed, hit the area.

Brown and Clermont counties were already part of an emergency declaration from Gov. John Kasich due to widespread flooding. The Ohio River and its tributaries crept ever-higher overnight, and downpours brought flash flood warnings for most of the Tri-State region.