A survey team from the National Weather Service says it appears that it was 80 mph straight line winds, not a tornado, that caused damage in northern Pickaway County Sunday.
"What we're looking for in the damage is conclusive evidence of tornadic damage, rotation. Not seeing that today," said Seth Binau, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
Sherman Sawbel lost the roof of his home to the storm. He went to his bedroom to read the newspaper by flashlight after the electric went out. That's when the winds hit.
"Sounded like a buzz saw hit the top of the building and all the bricks started flying, the dust started flying," he said.
Sawbel dove to the floor to avoid the flying debris. He wasn't hurt, but he's pretty sure the home, which was built in 1889, won't be saved.
"It's almost like you were in a war and you come under a mortar attack. You might have the same reaction," he said.
Binau says the surveys that determine what caused the damage don't really change what happened.
"For the people that are affected it doesn't really matter to them. What matters to them is that they lost personal belongings, and you feel bad for them," he said.
Forecasters are getting better at throwing up red flags when severe storms are possible. Binau notes that late last week alerts were going out that severe storms were possible Sunday. By Sunday morning there were warnings that a widespread severe weather outbreak was likely.
"You get that out there and let people start making their plans ahead of time so that when warnings do come, whether they are severe thunderstorm warnings or tornado warnings, people know that bad weather is coming, when they get the warning they can take action," he said.
There were no reports of injuries in the Wilmington forecast area, which includes most of southwest and central Ohio.