At one point last night, there were eight separate tornado warnings across the state of Ohio. Tornadoes devastated many communities, especially the city of Dayton, Ohio. After two tornadoes slammed into the city, one right after the other, over much the same path, I-75 was littered with debris. The state broke out the snow plows in response.
At least one person was killed, according to local authorities, when the swirling vortices threw a vehicle into the victim’s house. Videos posted on Twitter last night show demonic images of one of the tornadoes, a massive wedge connecting the clouds and the ground, looming in the distance, illuminated by nothing but the flashes of electricity as it snapped power lines like twigs and the tornado sirens screamed:
It was readily apparent, even as the twisters were still on the ground, that there would be havoc across Dayton and the surrounding area as there was so much material thrown into the air that weather radar started thinking it was hail:
But as rescue crews went to work extricating people from the ruins of their shattered homes, the Ohio Department of Transportation went to work immediately. Interstate 75 cuts right through Dayton, and the tornadoes crossed it as they swept through the northern part of the city:
There was so much debris strewn across I-75 that it wasn’t a matter of shutting a stretch of it down, having a few workers hop out of cars with a broom, and getting on with the rest of the recovery. The state had to break out the big guns – and in this case, the “big guns” were snowplows, which you can see from the ODOT Dayton Twitter feed:
Yes, that is an entire tree. Lying across the interstate.
The immediate plan was just to get the main traffic artery clear, as you can see in these photos from Matt Bruning, the Ohio DOT press secretary:
Of course, that led to another problem this morning during the rush hour commute, because your boss doesn’t care if your whole neighborhood was just obliterated, GOTTA GET TO WORK. There was so much debris that people slowed down just to ogle at it all, causing even more traffic headaches: