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‘Possible tornado’ strikes Monroe County

BEALLSVILLE — A severe storm damaged several buildings Wednesday morning across the Miltonsburg, Ozark and Beallsville areas of Monroe County.

Several residents in the area said the storm contained more than just strong winds, adding that they saw a tornado touch down. Sheriff Charles Black said he was unsure if the storm produced a tornado.

“The National Weather Service indicated that it was a straight wind event, but individuals said that they seen a tornado and then from some of the debris indicated there was a swirling event, so basically, we don’t have a clue,” Black said. “The National Weather Service is sending down representatives tomorrow (Thursday) to go ahead and observe the area, the damage and try to come to a determination of if it is a what they call like a microburst or a straight line wind event or if it was actually a tornado.”

Black said resulting injuries were minimal.

“There was numerous structures that were damaged – barns blowing over, houses destroyed, roofs taken off – but there was no loss of life,” he said.

He noted that debris struck one horse in Beallsville, and the horse had to be put down as a result. Other than that, no lives were reported lost.

Black said the storm started around 7:20 a.m. Wednesday and lasted until around 8 a.m.

“Luckily, my office was right on a shift change, so we had several officers here. So immediately we started responding and started checking residents for injuries,” he said.

Black said Monroe County Fire and EMS also assisted.

“We had township, county and state garages out. They were rapidly responding to clear brush from roads and so forth. South Central Power was out immediately also, dealing with the down lines,” he said.

Black said several local businesses and organizations have stepped up to support those affected.

“The Red Cross is coming in for the displaced residents. I think they’re staging at the Beallsville Firehouse. Modern Hardware, Little Caesars, Jerry Lee’s and Domino’s all donated a large amount of food that was transported by the deputies over to the firehouse for the workers along with anybody that is displaced due to the potential cold weather that’s moving in. Riesbeck’s Food Center donated water.

“There has just been an overwhelming outpour of community support, and that’s the way a rural county is when stuff like this happens. We all come together and help out our neighbors,” Black said.

The Monroe County Auditor’s Office posted information on its Facebook page about how to file a “destroyed or damaged property” form.

The post states: “For anyone whose property was damaged by the storms this morning, please go to our forms page, print and complete a DTE 26 Destroyed or Damaged Property form, and file it with the Auditor’s Office as soon as you can. We’ll have an appraiser review your property as soon as possible and make any adjustments necessary for your 2024 property value to be used for next year’s bills.”

The form can be filled out online by going to the auditor’s office page at monroecountyohio.com and clicking on “commonly used forms.”

The auditor’s office can also be reached by calling 740-472-0873. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located at 101 N. Main St., Room 22, Woodsfield.

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