Derecho struck the Tri-State five years ago, leaving behind widespread power outages and damage

Watch archive video below
Posted at 3:34 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 09:45:17-04

CINCINNATI -- One of the most devastating and memorable weather events of the past decade happened five years ago Thursday.

Twenty-two people died, 5 million lost power and damage happened over several states as a derecho -- pronounced "deh-REY-cho" -- developed on a Friday afternoon, June 29, 2012.

A derecho is a term used to describe a long-lived, violent, straight-line convective wind storm. This line of severe thunderstorms caused more than 1 million people to lose power across roughly two-thirds of Ohio.

BELOW: Viewers' photos from 2012 derecho


Here in the Tri-State, winds topped 80 mph, with many locations seeing 60 to 70 mph gusts through Friday evening.

The derecho hit the Tri-State just after 3 p.m. and raced across the area with an average forward speed of 60 mph, so it was gone by 7 p.m. The National Weather Service in Wilmington issued 19 separate Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.

ANIMATIONS: See how the derecho moved across our area

By the next day, Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency due to widespread power loss, damages and an ongoing heat wave.

The radar image above shows how the storms developed just west of Chicago before ripping across the Tri-State later in the day. This derecho took the form of a squall line or large bow echo that traveled an estimated 700 miles into the Mid-Atlantic states.

On the way through Indiana, the wind gusts increased substantially, peaking as high as 91 mph in Fort Wayne. This was noteworthy as the derecho produced the all-time highest recorded June or July wind gusts at several official observing sites along its path -- Fort Wayne, Indiana, Zanesville, Ohio and Huntington, West Virginia.

BELOW: Derecho damages Dayton Mall


Derechos are not very common, as many atmospheric conditions have to come together perfectly for one to form.