FINDLAY, Ohio — Storms with heavy rain, high winds and hail flooded homes and roads Monday and knocked out power in parts of the Midwest, where at least six people were injured and a tornado touched down in Indiana. Three homes in Kentucky were destroyed in what state police called an apparent tornado.
Flooding was a threat in all 88 of Ohio's counties, the National Weather Service said. Wind gusts of 60 mph or more were recorded in several locations, followed by scattered reports of homes with roof damage, uprooted trees and downed power lines. Utilities reported that as many as 31,000 Ohio customers had no power late Monday morning.
It's likely to get worse, especially around Findlay, where resident know all too well what to do when there's a threat of flooding.
Sandbags were being distributed and city officials made individual warning calls to downtown businesses as forecasts called for the Blanchard River to rise 6 1/2 feet above flood level, just a foot lower than a catastrophic 2007 flood that swamped this town 45 miles south of Toledo. The river was expected to rise overnight before beginning to level off Tuesday morning.
Warren Krout, who lost just about everything inside his pawn shop when floodwaters swamped his store nearly four years ago, was getting help from University of Findlay football players lugging mattresses, an air hockey table and reclining chairs to the second floor of his store Monday.
What they couldn't carry was put on concrete blocks or left to chance.
"Some of this stuff is just going to have to go down the river," Krout said.
Crews in boats rescued nearly 30 people, including a group trapped in a mobile home park, in western Ohio, said Mike Robbins, Mercer County's emergency management director. There were no reports of injuries.
In Illinois, six people were treated at a hospital in Maryville, a small town northeast of St. Louis where the storm tore off part of the roof at a church. In nearby Troy, the storm bent a football field's scoreboard and blew bleachers onto the field. About 30,000 people lost power, Ameren said.
In Indiana, several areas received up to 3 inches of rain and some hail, and much of the central part of the state is under a flood warning until Tuesday morning.
A tornado hit Celestine, a town of about 250 people in Dubois County, and damaged two homes and a double-wide trailer, the weather service said. Power lines just outside of Muncie were knocked down by the strong winds and areas northeast of Indianapolis sustained most of the wind damage.
East of Indianapolis, police reported high winds blew the roof off of a home near the town of Ingalls, where a pole barn was also destroyed.Comment on this story
"It was just a wind that kept getting stronger and stronger, to the point that we heard debris," Denise Arney, whose home was damaged, told WRTV in Indianapolis. "We knew we had to get downstairs."
An apparent tornado destroyed three homes in Henry County, northeast of Louisville, as storms blew through the state Sunday night and Monday morning, Kentucky state police said.
Two people were treated for minor injuries, Trooper Michael Webb said.
There were high winds and rain in New York City, where bricks rotted and fell from a building in Manhattan on Monday afternoon, the fire department said. A temporary support was put in place.