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Tornado blows sign from Willshire to Findlay PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, June 16, 2013 11:53 PM


DHI Correspondent

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WILLSHIRE - The power of the storm system that moved through the area on Wednesday was again revealed on Friday when a resident of Findlay called to report they had found a sign from Willshire. D.D. Strickler, a local real estate agent, reported he had a for-sale sign for a home on State Route 81 just west of Willshire prior to the storm.

After Wednesday night’s tornado struck the area of Willshire, this real estate sign could no longer be located. Strickler contacted Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy on Friday morning advising he had received a phone call from a woman in Findlay reporting she had found the realty sign stuck in the eves of her home.

McCoy contacted the National Weather Service Office in North Webster, Ind., and spoke with meteorologists on just how the sign had been carried over 70 miles to the northeast when the entire storm system and tornado was headed in a southerly direction. Upon reviewing the radar, satellite,and computer data, it was determined that a low level jet stream was present right over Willshire when the tornado hit which enabled this storm to spin up a tornado.

When the realty sign was hit by this tornado, the updraft of the storm was strong enough to carry the sign to the top of the storm and into the moving jet stream which was positioned over Willshire as well as up through the Findlay area. It carried the sign throughout the distance of the jet stream and dropped it in Findlay.

“It was amazing to watch all of the characteristics of this storm and not see more damage done to the area,” said McCoy. “The Willshire tornado was rated an EF-0 with winds of 80-85 mph.” Another tornado was confirmed a half-mile south of Van Wert/Mercer County Line Rd. on River Trail Rd. A third tornado struck the Wapakoneta area. Weather Service personnel also concluded that four different tornados touched down in Henry County near the Napoleon area.

This instance of a sign being carried such a far distance shows the extreme power and ability of the storms that cross through the Van Wert area. While the county often does not see the cataclysmic storms that are seen out West, these smaller storms have the potential to leave an area with unique and sometime strange damage reports.


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