Shelby Officials Host Press Conference On Tornado

  • 4/15/2019 3:32:14 PM
  • Jenna Ramolt
  • Local News

UPDATE: Mansfield Avenue is now open.

SHELBY, OH - Following the tornado that ripped through Shelby this weekend city officials held a press conference this afternoon to update the community on the level of damage caused as well as the relief efforts being put into action.

Around 4:55 PM on Sunday the tornado touched down just southwest of the city of Shelby, moving across several townships and causing heavy damage. 

"Upon the sirens going off and the tornado passing through our city forces immediately went into action," said Shelby Mayor Steven Schag. "I cannot say enough good about our police department, our fire department, our service department, who responded so quickly to this... tragedy."

According to their preliminary survey from the National Weather Service (NWS), the tornado was classified as an EF-2, the second strongest of the three possible categories. The NWS estimates the storm's peak winds reached 120 to 125 miles per hour, traveling for 17 miles and causing six injuries. As of yet, no deaths have been recorded as a result of the tornado.

As of 1:00 PM on Monday, a total of 30 structures have been damaged, according to city officials. 

Local emergency services are still gathering information on injuries and damages caused during the storm, so the total number of injuries and 911 calls is currently unknown. However, officials have reported that there were no fatalities after Sunday's tornado. 

"Six to eight... still getting some numbers on those hospitalized," said Shelby Fire Department Chief Michael J. Thompson on the number of people reported injured after Sunday. "I want to thank our mutual aid fire departments, almost all the way around us, their assistance.... when we were falling short, they picked up the slack."

The City hopes that a major part of clean up will be done within 24 hours, but will continue on working on affected areas throughout the week.  

Chief of Police Lance Combs stated the department was watching closely on Sunday night to see if any major storm was on its way to the city.  

"Our assessment was that it was missing us as we were watching that line of thunderstorms... the next thing we knew, that second line kind of snuck up on us." said Chief Combs. 

Chief Combs also stated that the sirens did go off within the city after they confirmed a report that a funnel cloud formed neared the city. However, they have heard reports of the sirens not being heard by residents or not functioning properly, which Cheif Combs stated that they are investigating the reports.   

The city reviews the use of sirens after every major incident, and will do so after this Sundays Tornado, according to Mayor Schag and Chief Combs. 

The city also announced that they have received aid from multiple counties in Ohio, as well as help from Hillsdale, Michigan. 

Mayor Steve Schag also asked everyone to not only focus on recovery efforts in the City of Shelby, but surrounding townships and cities as well, citing that other locations outside of Shelby City Limits have been hit hard as well.

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