The Scioto County Emergency Management Agency issued a tornado warning, as the tornado siren was heard sounding over downtown Portsmouth at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Dispatchers with the Ohio Highway Patrol reported havoc all over Scioto County.
“I had a car that went under the underpass at the north Fairground Road and he got stuck in the water, and it was rising on him. He got about four feet of water around his car and he was finally able to get out. He was OK,” Dispatcher Sonya Banks said.
She said trees and power lines were down at Muletown and on Ohio 140, but said Minford took the brunt of the storm. Greenbriar Road, in Minford, was reportedly under three or four feet of water, but that wasn't the worst of things to come.
“From what I understand, there was a tornado that touched down in Minford. It also touched down in Piketon and actually destroyed some homes in Piketon,” Banks said.
She added later that she was unable to confirm those reports at present time.
The Minford Fire Department said they were busy with rising water and debris covering the roads, but could not confirm that a tornado had touched down in the area.
The Pike County Emergency Management Agency confirmed three mobile homes were destroyed when a tornado touched down in the Buchanan area. The Pike EMA also reported homes damaged by downed trees and at least five reported injuries. There was some tree damage to the east side of the USEC facility, but no structural damage was reported.
Elsewhere in the county, New Boston Police reported flooding in the 3700 block of Rhodes and Gallia Street, and also on Lakeview Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Dispatchers said no accidents had been reported at that time, and officers were on the streets with the fire and service departments to caution drivers. Roads were also flooded in Sciotoville, as officers from the Portsmouth Police Department closed the Sciotoville exit on U.S. 52 east for a short time Saturday afternoon.
By 6 p.m. the major storm structure had passed through Scioto County, heading for Lawrence County, where 911 officials reported at least two people struck by lightning in Elizabeth Township. Emergency dispatchers there said storms have knocked down trees and one home was partlially washed away.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.