Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian said he had just watched a Detroit Tigers baseball game on TV on April 20 when he heard a severe thunderstorm move over his house in Eagles Landing.
“I wasn’t really enjoying the shellacking the Tigers were taking at the time at about 1 a.m.,” Seferian told council at a meeting on April 25. “I heard the noise go right over my house very loudly. I knew something was going on. And I think a short time later, [Fire] Chief Ed Ellis called me.”
Ellis had informed Seferian about the storm and possible damage in the area.
“I actually drove out to the scene. I want to commend the fire department. They responded to the scene, and were going door to door to see if there was anyone trapped in houses or if there were any problems. They tried to cover the whole neighborhood to ensure the safety of people,” said Seferian.
Ellis said the department was dispatched to a home on Sugarbush Road, where a large tree had fallen, at approximately 12:43 a.m.
“The tree had come down onto a home with people trapped in the home,” said Ellis. “When we got there, we made sure the folks were fine, there were no injuries. Their garage was pretty demolished, along with the back half of their home. Seeing that damage, plus the damage I witnessed on the way over there, I thought a good portion of South Shore Park might have been affected by very heavy winds. The police were on the scene, the road crews. We also called in all three stations of the Oregon Fire Department. The No. 2 station was out at the time on a rescue. So they had crews at the station on standby. We had 33 fire fighters that responded to the South Shore Park area. They were in three fire engines, three rescue squads, a utility vehicle, and chief cars.”
Rescue crews canvassed an area starting at Otter Creek Road east to the city limits, and Cedar Point Road north to the lake, said Ellis.
“We covered all the streets because we didn’t know exactly what type of damage we were going to be facing. Very luckily, there was minimal damage. It’s not minimal for the folks who were involved. But simply for the area that was involved, there was very minimal damage – no injuries, no deaths, which was the best thing to come out of all that. We had all of our crews back in service at about 3 a.m. Some of us stayed up through the night with Toledo Edison to make sure the problems they had got cleared up and everyone was safe,” said Ellis.
On Thursday, the following day, Ellis toured the affected areas with the director of the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency, and a representative from the National Weather Service, to survey the damage.
“We counted 24 houses that were damaged. Two of the houses had serious structural damage – one on Stadium Road and one on Sugarbush. The rest had a variety of damage - roof shingles, siding, windows, lots of trees and fences. But only two had really serious structural damage,” said Ellis. “At that time, the weather service decided we had suffered the consequences of an EFO tornado with 65-85 mph winds.”
Ellis said he wanted to thank the streets, police and fire departments for their efforts.
“We had a command post set up at Bayshore and Stadium roads. Everybody worked very well together and cleared the situation up,” said Ellis.