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Ohio storm kills 7, wrecks cop cars, graduation

 

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A community whose high school was destroyed the day before graduation by a tornado that killed seven people, including the valedictorian's father, rescheduled the ceremony as residents sifted through houses in many cases reduced to rubble.

The tornado was part of a line of storms that ripped through the Midwe s t on Saturday night and Sunday, destroying dozens of homes and an emergency services building in northwest Ohio.

Storms collapsed a movietheater roof in Illinois and ripped siding off a building at a Michigan nuclear plant, forcing a shutdown. But the worst destruction was reserved for a strip up to 300 yard wide and 10 miles long southeast of Toledo lef t l i t tered Sunday wi th wrecked vehicles, splintered wood and family possessions.

The tornado that hit Wood and Ottawa counties had estimated winds of up to 165 mph and was by far the most severe of four confirmed tornadoes to s t r ike nor thern Ohio on Saturday, Wi l l Kubina, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Cleveland, said this morning.

At least 50 homes were destroyed and another 50 severely damaged, as well as six commercial buildings. The storm fell over an area of farm fields and light industry, narrowly missing the heavily populated suburbs on the southern edge of Toledo.

"It's a war zone," Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer said.

 
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