Tornadoes

Hazard rank in the 2021 Clinton County Hazard Mitigation Plan (1 highest priority to 16 lowest priority): 1 (Severe Wind & Tornadoes) and 3 (Severe Summer Weather), which could result in 2 Utility Failure, and/or 5 Hazardous Materials release.

Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can destroy buildings, flip cars, and create deadly flying debris.

A tornado can:
  • Happen anytime and anywhere.

  • Bring intense winds, over 200 miles per hour.

  • Look like funnels.

If you are under a tornado or severe weather warning:
  • Go to NOAA Weather Radio and your local news or official social media accounts (EMA, NWS) for updated emergency information. Follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials. 

  • Go to a safe shelter immediately, such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or a small interior room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.

  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.

  • Do not go under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.

  • Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.

  • Use your arms to protect your head and neck.

BEFORE a Tornado

  • Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.

  • Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar like a freight train.

  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and NOAA Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.

  • Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.

  • Identify and practice going to a safe shelter such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room or basement on the lowest level of a sturdy building.

  • Plan for your pet. They are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan.

  • Prepare for long-term stay at home or sheltering in place by gathering emergency supplies, cleaning supplies, non-perishable foods, water, medical supplies and medication.

DURING a Tornado

  • Immediately go to a safe location that you have identified.

  • Pay attention to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.

  • Protect yourself by covering your head or neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around or on top of you.

  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle if you are in a car. If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.

AFTER a Tornado

  • Pay attention to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local authorities for updated information.

  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.

  • Contact your healthcare provider if you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and continue to shelter in place.

  • Wear appropriate gear during clean-up such as thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves, use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.

Outdoor Warning Sirens

There are 30 outdoor warning sirens located throughout Clinton County.  The sirens are activated by two organizations.  The first is Wilmington Dispatch via software and is typically during monthly operational checks (manual activation).  During a Tornado Warning, the NWS draws a warning polygon on their computer, which is transmitted to computers monitoring NWS data/information.  If a Tornado Warning polygon includes an area covered/serviced by an Outdoor Warning Siren, that unit is trigged (automated activation).  Attached is an email report issued by the software which activates the radio controllers for all county outdoor warning sirens based on electronic information plotted and transmitted by NWS includes information about the activation (see attached).  

The sirens are owned and maintained by the jurisdiction.  When Wilmington upgraded their sirens to the Whalen Speaker Outdoor Warning Sirens, many of the older Federal models were gifted to other municipalities in the county.  

The sirens are located (map) and they are names as follows:

  • (Wilmington) 1001 - Station 2- Rombach

  • (Wilmington) 1002 - South Nelson

  • (Wilmington) 1003 - City Garage

  • (Wilmington) 1004 - Holmes School

  • (Wilmington) 1005 - City Park

  • (Wilmington) 1006 - North Nelson

  • (Wilmington) 1007 - High School

  • (Wilmington) 1008 - Denver School

  • (Wilmington) 1009 - Southwinds

  • (Wilmington) 1010 - Davids Road

  • (Wilmington) 1011 - Community Market

  • (Wilmington) 1013 - DHL

  • (Wilmington) 1016 - Wilmington College FIFE

  • (Wilmington) 1017 - Wilmington College Main

  • (Wilmington) 1018 - Downtown (Fed Sig Siren)

  • (Village of Sabina) 1112 - Sabina

  • (Liberty Township) 1114 - R&L Center

  • (Village of Port William) 1115 - Port William

  • (Wayne Township) 2001 - Wayne TWP (Lees Creek)

  • (Washington Township) 2002 - Cuba

  • (Green Township) 2004 - New Antioch

  • (Adams Township) 2008 - Clinton-Massie School

  • (Village of Clarksville) 2009 - Clinton Warren Joint FD

  • (Vernon Township) 2010 - Vernon Twp

  • (Adams Township) 2011 - Adams TWP Garage (Sligo)

  • (Adams Township) 2012 - Nike Center

  • (Vernon Township) 2013 - Vernon TWP Vortex

  • (Clark Township) 3003 - Martinsville

  • (Village of New Vienna) 3007 - New Vienna

  • (Village of Blanchester) 3014 - Blanchester Vortex

If your local outdoor warning siren is not operating (tested at Noon on the first Saturday of each month), please contact your jurisdictional chief elected official (directory). 

Resources

Household

Clinton County Tornado and Summer Storm Assessment (PDF).

Tornado Information Sheet (PDF).

Taking Shelter from the Storm (PDF).

iKeepSafe (Kids Education Link). 

Schools

K-12 School Severe Weather Tabletop Exercise (TTX) Toolkit.