MERCER COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – The Mayor of Celina said one person is dead after a tornado struck the city Monday night.
Mayor Jeffrey Hazel held news conference where he discussed the death.
Melville Hanna, 81, died in the storm. Hazel said Hanna died “as a direct result of a vehicle entering his house” in the 1200 block of Fairground Road.
The tornado struck the northwest quarter of the city and at least 40 homes were damaged, according to Gazel.
Hazel said many are without power and it will take some time to restore electric service. Gas service has also been turned off in the affected areas.
Governor Mike DeWine, according to Hazel, is headed to Celina to see the devastation first-hand.
The Mercer County Emergency Management Director said that emergency crews are focusing their efforts on search and rescue.
According to the Mercer County EMA Director, Mike Robbins, 12 people have been confirmed to be injured and 2 NEWS is working to learn more about the severity of those injuries.
Celina Mayor Jeffrey Hazel said three of those injuries are considered to be serious but none are life-threatening.
An area in the northwest section of Celina and farther west out of town have suffered extensive damage. Several homes have been destroyed and EMA Director Mike Robbins says there are reports of multiple injuries as a result of these storms.
The Mayor of Celina spoke with 2 NEWS early Tuesday about rescue efforts.
A shelter to assist those affected by the tornadoes is being operated at the Eagles Club in Coldwater.
Take a look at some viewer photos that capture just some of the damage left behind by severe weather Monday:
Around 10:12 pm, the National Weather Service gave warning that a tornado was likely on the ground just east of Celina moving toward St. Marys.
[10:12 PM] Our radar shows a tornado likely on the ground just east of Celina moving towards St. Mary’s in Mercer County. Take cover now if in the path of this storm! — NWS Wilmington OH (@NWSILN) May 28, 2019
Crews rescued at least one person after damage done to their home left them trapped in their basement.
Robbins says that they don’t need anyone coming into the area who does not need to be there and that the public needs to let professional responders do what they need to do.
A shelter is opening at the Eagles building in Coldwater, located at 101 W Walnut St., where the Red Cross will be available to provide assistance.
Only people in need of immediate help should call 911.