Tornado destroys Catholic church in Ohio

Photo: Jetta Fraser/The Blade

From the Toledo Blade (h/t to Norb!):

Five moderate tornadoes plowed through six counties in northwest Ohio on Sunday, sparing lives but leveling a church, homes, and businesses, and brushing near part of Lake Township ravaged by a much stronger twister in 2010.

The National Weather Service’s confirmation on Monday of the tornadoes — which in some cases brought winds in excess of 100 mph — didn’t surprise Sandy Moore, who said she was locking her front door when she heard what sounded like a train ramming into her Lake Township garage. She ended up on the ground in her living room.

“All hell broke loose,” Mrs. Moore said. “It sounded like the garage exploded, it flipped me back like a vacuum, and you could hear the house cracking and ripping apart.”

From Lima 

A member of the church long enough to remember when the building was new, Cathy Heitmeyer stood in disbelief at the rubble made of St. Barbara Catholic Church.

“Fifty years,” Heitmeyer managed, with tears welling in her eyes, when asked how long she’d been a member of the parish.

It was as if the church had taken the brunt of the storm in an attempt to ease the blow for everyone else, one man in town commented.

The storm destroyed the church and rectory, but it also flattened homes in the village and damaged other buildings Sunday night.

A team from the National Weather Service surveyed the damage Monday and classified that an EF-2 tornado had caused the damage. The report said the twister had a path length of eight miles and a path width of 440 yards. The tornado was on the ground for about eight minutes beginning at 4:51 p.m. and touchdown was estimated to have occurred about five miles northeast of Cloverdale before traveling into the community.

About half the village’s 60 structures sustained some kind of damage, village Mayor Judd Spencer said. No one was injured or killed in the storm.

Below, before and after pictures of the church.  Pray for this parish!

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