The tornado that reportedly touched down in Shelby on Sunday caused significant damage at Rocket Chevrolet, a car dealership.
The Shelby Police Department reported the tornado came from behind the area of Advance Auto and continued east across Ohio 39, damaging a number of structures along the way. In addition to the Rocket dealership, the tornado caused heavy damage at Donley Ford, Drug Mart and Carton Service.
Storm damage also cut off most routes to and from that Richland County city.
Shelby police posted this message on Twitter: "To cut down phone calls to our dispatch center, if you absolutely need to get back into Shelby, your only option at this point would be Bowman to SR 96 to Smiley. SR 96 is closed from Smiley to the city limit. Plymouth Springmill, SR 39 and SR 314/61 are all closed. Please, if you do not have to come into Shelby, stay where you are. We are working hard to open these roads up."
Despite the destruction, only minor injuries were reported, police said.
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A set of severe thunderstorms produced tornadoes and plenty of damage across the state Sunday.
Locally, a tornado watch was issued in the 4 o’clock hour. Norwalk’s tornado sirens sounded about 5 p.m., issuing a 45-minute warning for local residents to seek cover.
As of 7 p.m. Sunday, Huron County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers had not receive any calls reporting damage in this area, Sgt. Bill Duncan said
However, there were reports of damage in Shelby and Shiloh, as well as possible tornado touchdowns in both locations as well.
While no tornado or severe damage was reported in Huron County, according to the sheriff’s office, there was plenty of damage reported in surrounding counties.
Cleveland TV station WKYC Channel 3, an NBC affiliate, reported a tornado touched down just a few miles west of Shelby shortly after 7 p.m.
At 7:35 p.m. WKYC's Ray Strickland was in Shelby, which the TV station labeled as “one of the most impacted areas of the storms."
“Unbelievable! More damage out of Shelby,” Strickland tweeted. “Homes are destroyed. Debris everywhere. Power is out throughout the town, including at a local hospital. Mircaculously, police tell us on one was seriously hurt. Cleanup is on going.”
"The tornado was strikingly wide and probably of EF-2 strength, though that will ultimately be determined by the National Weather Service in Cleveland Monday," storm meteorologist Ben Gelber told NBC. "This same storm formed over Champaign County just after 3 p.m. and raced northeast at 40 mph over portions of Union and Marion counties, triggering tornado warnings for rotation."
Fox28 Columbus reporter Geoff Redick posted a photo of a barn that had caved in as result of the storm.
“It’s roof (was) blown off by now CONFIRMED tornado in Shelby, Ohio,” Redick tweeted.