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Clean-up continues for the village of Cloverdale, one of the four northwest Ohio communities struck by a tornado Sunday. Local volunteers are making great strides in clearing blocked roads and inaccessible properties.
The EF2 tornado first touched down about one quarter-mile south of the intersection of Route 66 and County Line Road in Paulding County around 4:51 p.m. It then lifted about five miles northeast of Cloverdale in Putnam County, approximately eight minutes later. The tornado was estimated to be about 440 yards wide and had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
Utility crews moved into the area Monday restoring power to most of the areas hit by the storm, but because of the extensive damage the village suffered, it still could be several days until power is restored. Power and electric crews from across the state are in Cloverdale and parts of Putnam County Tuesday, working to clear power lines off major roads and repair low hanging lines before turning the power back on.
The Red Cross has set up the Oak Haven facility in Cloverdale as a shelter to base operations.
"When they see that Red Cross truck coming down the road, or they hear us on the loud speaker letting them know the Red Cross is in their neighborhood, it's a little bit of a bright spot in their day," said Todd James, American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio.
Helpers in the red and white uniforms are probably the only ones who can get Cloverdale residents to put down their rakes and put themselves first - if only for a moment.
"I'll put it this way: I don't cry a lot, but I balled my eyes out. It's my hometown and it's destroyed," said Mikel Carnahan.
Since Sunday's tornadoes hit, residents like Carnahan, who says three homes he previously owned in the area were destroyed, have been working non-stop to clean up.
"I'm helping clean up, tearing down houses, and just helping everybody clean up the community," said Carnahan.
Red Cross volunteers want to make sure storm victims are taking the time to eat. They're delivering lunch and dinner through mobile feeding units.
"They've been up all night long worrying about the destruction of their house, what they're going to do. They didn't even think about eating at all. We roll up with a hot meal, and stuff. Get them to slow down and take a break," said Mark Klausing, Van Wert Disaster chairman.
With only a generator, volunteers are making and hand delivering hot meals. Food was donated through Trinity United Methodist Church in Ottawa and Oak Haven in Cloverdale.
A community meeting took place at the St. Barbara's Parish Center in Cloverdale Tuesday afternoon to discuss what's next in the clean-up effort, power restoration and services available for those still in need.
Anyone wishing to donate can contact the Putnam County EMA at 419-538-7315 or Putnam County Red Cross at 419-523-4580.
Crystal Clark is in Cloverdale today and will have the latest details on clean-up and relief efforts in her reports tonight on WTOL 11 News starting at 5.