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Published: Thursday, 6/24/2010

Former Edgerton town hall to be razed following storm damage


EDGERTON, Ohio — Village leaders were making arrangements Thursday afternoon to tear down the former 1884 town hall — which once housed an opera house — following storms overnight.

The hall has a hole in the middle, and Edgerton leaders said they were fearful of more damage.

Storms that swept across northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan Wednesday night hammered the village's town hall, picking up its roof and dropping it on the fire station a few feet away.

A volunteer firefighter who was outside the fire station when the town hall roof collaped was injured by falling debris. He was in surgery Thursday afternoon at a hospital in Ft. Wayne.

Edgerton is in Williams County, just east of the Indiana line and just north of Defiance County.

The Edgerton Historical Society had wanted to see the village hall remain the centerpiece of the Williams County community and were hoping to have it restored. Village offices had been moved previously to the vacant Edgerton Middle School.

Also in Edgerton, the factory roof at Oren Elliott Products Inc. on West Vine Street collapsed and a tree fell atop a house on Railroad Street. In Archbold in western Fulton County, the storm's 50 mph winds damaged a Sauder Woodworking Co. factory roof.

Hundreds of workers in the complex went to designated tornado shelters at 9:29 p.m., according to Frank Chapa, a Sauder security worker.Employees were cleared to return to their work stations at 11:13 p.m. and within minutes discovered severe damage to the roof of the Meyers Road plant, Mr. Chapa said.That plant, which measures about three football fields long and half a football field wide, is a production and packing area.

The National Weather Service office in White Lake, Mich., early Thursday afternoon confirmed that a lower-strength tornado had tracked across about 11 miles of northern Monroe County Wednesday night, starting about two miles south of Milan and dissipating about 2 1/2 miles northeast of Maybee.

Kevin Gaunes, of the Toledo Division of Parks & Forestry, saws a tree which had fallen on Brandi Phillips' house on Harve Street in South Toledo. Kevin Gaunes, of the Toledo Division of Parks & Forestry, saws a tree which had fallen on Brandi Phillips' house on Harve Street in South Toledo.

While twister was rated at EF-0, the lowest rank on the Enhanced Fujita Scale with winds estimated between 60 and 70 mph, along most of its track, an EF-1 rating was given for a stretch near Tuttle Hill Road between Allison and Snell roads in London Township, said Steve Considine, a weather-service meteorologist. The estimated 90 mph wind in that area ripped the roof off a pole building, caused substantial tree damage, and damaged roof shingles on several homes, Mr. Considine said.

The tornado's path varied in width between about 50 and 100 yards.

While straight-line winds caused some roof damage in Lenawee County, no tornadoes are believed to have to have touched down there, the meteorologist said. Weather service staff yesterday afternoon were assessing damage about two miles north of Milan, in Washtenaw County, to determine if a second tornado occurred there.

NWS issued a tornado warning until 11:30 p.m. Wednesday for northern Allen County; southeast Defiance County; southern Henry County; southeast Paulding County; Putnam County, and northeast Van Wert County.

Weather service radar at 10:36 p.m. indicated a squall line along a line from Defiance to Convoy, Ohio, capable of producing brief rain-wrapped tornadoes and straight-line wind damage.

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