A severe storm ripped through the downtown area of Goshen around 2:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, according to Pam Haverkos, Clermont County emergency management director.
Goshen, a suburb located approximately 30 miles northeast of Cincinnati, was hit with very little warning, township administrator Steve Pegram said during a news conference. “Our phones alerted, and the storm hit us about 90 seconds later,” Pegram said.
Two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school were also damaged in the storm, said Mike Boehmer, the Goshen emergency management office spokesperson.
“They are all in close proximity to the fire department and the police department,” Boehmer said, adding that many homes are missing their roofs.
“We are really lucky that it happened in the middle of the day,” Boehmer said. “Most people were still at work when it happened and not in those homes.”
Radar and initial images from Goshen indicate a tornado is believed to be responsible for some of the damage, according to the National Weather Service
A disaster declaration was issued in the wake of the possible tornado, Haverkos said. According to Poweroutage.com
, more than 56,000 customers in Ohio were without power as of late Wednesday night.
In a phone call to CNN, Haverkos said assessments of damage throughout Goshen are still being conducted.
Haverkos said thus far there have only been two reports of injuries: a resident and a firefighter who was injured with a chainsaw.
“Numerous residences were impacted, and we believe that several hundred people have been displaced from their homes,” she said.
NWS is set to arrive Thursday to assess the damage and confirm whether a tornado touched down in the area.