COLUMBUS, Ohio – Multiple deaths have been reported following a series of storms and potential tornadoes that tore through parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana on Thursday night. The first tornado warnings in Ohio were issued around 8:30 p.m. and persisted until 10:15 p.m., stemming from storms with strong winds and unconfirmed tornado activity. Logan County, Ohio, must now grapple with the aftermath, with three confirmed fatalities according to the Logan County Coroner’s Office. Cleanup efforts are scheduled to commence on Friday.

   The Logan County Emergency Management Agency declared a “mass casualty event,” echoing reports of numerous downed trees and damaged homes in the region. In Washington Township, police confirmed deaths in Lakewood, Midway, and Orchard Island. Meanwhile, at Bellefontaine’s Mary Rutan Hospital, 19 patients with weather-related injuries were treated, all presenting bone fractures and concussions.

   Police Chief Michael Thompson described scenes of chaos and devastation in Ohio’s Logan and Delaware counties, where violent storms and possible tornadoes wreaked havoc. Thompson urged people to steer clear of the Indian Lake area to allow emergency crews to function efficiently for service restoration. Come daylight, search and rescue operations, including cadaver dogs, are planned to begin.

   Following the tornado sirens sounding during a concert at Indian Lake High School, the school transitioned into a triage center and public shelter for those displaced by the storms. Indian Lakes schools, along with Big Walnut and Olentangy schools in Delaware County, remained closed on Friday due to storm-related damage. Delaware County, particularly hard-hit by power outages, sustained severe property damage from lightning, fallen trees, and downed power lines.

   In Indiana, the State Police reported “many significant injuries” in the community of Winchester after a tornado struck. Indiana Task Force One was called in to assist with search efforts in Winchester, a town nearly 70 miles northeast of Indianapolis. Mayor Bob McCoy expressed shock at the storm’s impact, with Indiana Department of Homeland Security personnel and the State Emergency Operations Center working to address the aftermath.

   Kentucky saw damage to at least 50 structures, including homes, as reported by Trimble County Emergency Management Director Andrew Stark. Governor Andy Beshear confirmed tornado activity in Gallatin and Trimble counties along the Indiana border, with a few minor injuries reported. The state’s emergency operations center was activated to manage the storm response.

   As severe weather threats lingered from northeast Texas to Indiana and Ohio, the National Weather Service remained vigilant for potential severe weather activity. The community continues to grapple with the devastation wrought by the storm, with recovery efforts underway and support being extended to those affected.

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