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Mar. 17—Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday declared a state of emergency in 11 counties hit by last week’s severe weather that produced eight tornadoes Thursday evening in Ohio.

The counties include Auglaize, Crawford, Darke, Delaware, Hancock, Licking, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Richland and Union.

DeWine also activated the Ohio National Guard to help Logan County officials with the clean up of storm debris on public property. An assessment team from the 200th REDHORSE Squadron was deployed to Logan County Sunday morning to conduct an assessment of needed support.

Three people were killed, several were injured, and a huge number of homes were destroyed Thursday night as a storm system spawned a series of suspected tornadoes across eastern Indiana and western Ohio.

The worst-hit area in Ohio was the south shore of Indian Lake in Logan County — mainly the towns of Lakeview, Midway and Russells Point. Logan County Sheriff Randy Dodds confirmed three people died there, and but search crews were still working Friday and Saturday, in trailer parks and neighborhoods that were pulverized. About 25 people were treated for mostly broken bones and internal injuries at the hospital in Bellefontaine.

Closer to Dayton, a tornado smashed several houses in Darke and Miami counties, near the towns of Bradford and Covington, west of Piqua.

Emergency Management Agencies in Miami and Darke counties reported eight homes or buildings were destroyed by an EF-2 tornado with estimated winds of 130 mph that first touched down in Indiana.

The tornado traveled along the U.S. 36 corridor in Darke County and entered Miami County north of the village of Bradford. It proceeded through Miami County eastward through Newberry Township and north of the village of Covington. The tornado appears to have lifted before impacting the city of Piqua, according to the Darke County EMA.

Jeff Slattery said he and his wife Julie were eating dinner and watching weather updates when they heard loud rumbling heading their way, and quickly jumped in their bathtub in Covington.

“After that, all hell broke loose,” Slattery said Friday morning on Rangeline Road, against the backdrop of a shattered house and roaring chainsaws. “Things just started flying apart … shocked we’re still alive, quite honestly.”

It was the second time in three weeks that tornadoes caused damage in area counties. On Feb. 28, strong storms produced tornados that did heavy damage in Montgomery, Greene and Clark counties and other parts of Ohio. Some homeowners from those storms continue to make repairs.

The declaration orders all relevant State departments and agencies to lend their services, equipment, supplies, and personnel as necessary to assist in the response and recovery effort. Agencies providing support include the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Ohio Emergency Management Agency, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and Ohio Department of Administrative Services.

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