A National Weather Service survey team arrived Wednesday, April 4, to try to determine if a tornado hit southern Grove City the previous night.

"From what we were able to see on radar last night, it appears a small tornado did touch down in Grove City," said Ken Haydu, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service's Wilmington office.

"We're here today to see if we can find anything to confirm that's what happened," he said. "That could be storm damage, eyewitness accounts or video."

One indication that a tornado hit would be if damage occurred moving in the opposite direction the storm was heading, he said.

The April 3 storms traveled from the west and southwest to the north and northeast.

It may be difficult to confirm whether a tornado touched down in the city, Haydu said.

However, Grove City sustained the most damage from Tuesday night's storms in central Ohio, he said.

There is a report of damage to a radio tower at Rickenbacker International Airport that may have been caused by a small tornado, Haydu said.

As of Wednesday morning, about 1,900 residents in and around Grove City are still without power, said Don Walters, the city's community-relations officer.

"From what AEP has told us, it may be as long as two or three days before power is restored to everybody," he said.

Damage was centered in the southern part of the city, near Grove City High School, 4665 Hoover Road.

Motorists are advised to avoid traveling on Hoover Road between Holton and White roads and Orders Road from state Route 62 to Hoover Road due to downed power lines, Walters said.

About 450 residences were damaged in the area where the storm hit. Grove City Building Division and Ohio EPA Geographic Information System staff members will assess the damage at each home, he said.

The building division has set up a field office in the Grove City High School parking lot. Staff members will be available to answer questions regarding building permits, registered contractors and damage assessment.

The city has established the Evans Center, 4330 Dudley Road, as a shelter.

Three people stopped by the center before midnight April 3 and another seven or eight had visited the temporary shelter by 10 a.m. April 4, said Tracy Burley, Evans Center administrative assistant.

"Most of them are looking to a place to charge their phones and get a bite to eat," Burley said. "The temperature's beginning to drop, so they're looking for a place where they can warm up."

Any resident who needs transportation to the Evans Center can call 614-277-1859 or the center directly at 614-277-1060, she said.

Several South-Western schools were closed April 4 due to the power outages, including Grove City High School, Jackson Middle School, Hayes and Park Street intermediate schools, Buckeye Woods and J.C. Sommer elementary schools, South-Western Preschool Center and the Bostic Center.

The good news is that aside from some high winds, additional severe weather is not in the forecast, Haydu said.

"There is always a bit of anxiety after a storm like this," he said. "But we're not expecting any more threatening weather."

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