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Clinton County officials confirm sirens failed when EF0 tornado touched down

EF0 touched down near Clarksville, Ohio
Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 9.04.49 AM.jpg
Posted at 9:06 AM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 18:51:46-04

CLARKSVILLE, Ohio — The National Weather Service announced an EF0 tornado touched down west of Clarksville, Ohio in eastern Warren County during storms that rolled through the area on Wednesday.

The confirmation was made based on video and photographic evidence. NWS officials from the Wilmington office conducted a storm survey on the ground on Thursday that revealed the tornado began in Warren County and traveled roughly 50 yards to Clinton County between 3:42 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

An EF0 tornado is characterized as weak by the NWS, typically causing light damage to trees and property. Surveyors said the tornado traveled less than a mile on the ground, causing damage from Todd's Fork Creek south of Highway 350 to Springhill Road in Clinton County.

A tornado warning was issued for Warren County and Clinton County, where Clarksville is located, Wednesday afternoon around 3:45 p.m. Despite the warning, residents in Clinton County said they never heard the outdoor warning system sirens.

“I went outside and I could see the dark," Marvin Barton said. "It was black, and I knew somebody was getting it."

Wilmington Police are responsible for activating the alarm. WCPO reached out to the chief Wednesday and Thursday but has not heard back.

Clinton County Emergency Management Director Thomas Breckel said Thursday the 27 outdoor sirens throughout the county failed due to an equipment malfunction. Breckel said the manufacturer is working to confirm and fix the problem.

“Anyone who is in the schools, anyone who was in the centers of the villages, those would be people that did not receive the notification,” Breckel said.

Bob Wysong, chief of Clinton-Warren Fire Rescue, said his team immediately began checking on residents and working to open roads. No one was hurt during the storm, but Wysong said it could have been worse.

“We have a camp that's about a quarter-mile from here, and it had, I think, there was 160 kids there at that time, plus staff,” Wysong said.

As the county works to fix its siren system, emergency management is asking residents to ensure they are signed up for the phone alert system by clicking here.