Tornado cut through Ohio town of Galion ‘like a saw blade’

GALION, Ohio -- Clean-up continued on Tuesday following a confirmed EF-1 tornado that ripped through the community of Galion on Sunday.

Residents say they were going through their normal Sunday evening routines when the rain turned into an intense storm that lasted only about 30 seconds without much warning whatsoever.

"Fifteen or twenty minutes before the storm hit, my dogs became very nervous and anxious, whining, crying, barking. We heard the thunder and lightning and then it just happened," said Michelle Lake, who believes she saw the funnel but not until it was in her yard.

"It sounded like a freight train coming through. I heard a snap. I ran upstairs, not sure why, and I seen the winds. It looked -- can't even describe it in words-- you could just see things moving quickly past my house," said Lake.

The high winds snapped a huge limb from a tree in her front yard that crushed her car.

On Union Street, a massive tree fell into a two-story home, heavily damaging the top level of the house.

Elsewhere,  trees pierced walls and roofs of homes including the home of Susan Blair.

Blair showed FOX 8 News a bedroom on the second floor where limbs came through the wall and an adjacent bathroom where another limb was still poking through the wall.

"The power flickered and heard a big crash and tree limbs everywhere we were. It was scary.  Don't ever want to do it again; that's for sure," said Blair.

Municipal utility crews were still working on Tuesday to restore power to the few customers in the city without electricity.

Mayor Tom O'Leary said almost two dozen homes and three businesses sustained damage from the storm that he described as cutting through the community "like a saw blade."

Many in the community have been critical of the fact that while the tornado siren is tested every Friday at noon, it did not sound before Sunday's storm, giving them advanced warning to head to safety.

O'Leary explained to FOX 8 News that there are only three entities which have the authority to sound the siren and with as quickly as the storm hit they may not have had time to activate it.

"Here in Galion, that is controlled out of the county sheriff's department, and those three are: the National Weather Service calling, and saying 'you have an emergency coming;' second would be a safety responder that would see a tornado; and the third would be SKYWARN-trained folks that are storm chasers, if you would, that are trained to do that and none of those conditions happened Sunday." said O'Leary.

"When you look at what happened on the radar, it looked like it blew up really quickly and from National Weather Service, I don't think they had advance warning of it," he explained.

Even without any warning, no one in the community was injured.

Mayor O'Leary believes if there is anything good to come from the storm it might be that it happened on Sunday when the businesses that were damaged were closed.

"Overall, the fact that no one was injured and no one was killed, and that it happened at a time when the industries were shut down for the weekend, were probably the upside of it and the suddenness of it I think is the feeling that everyone in town has," said O'Leary.

More storm damage, here.