UPDATE: Thursday, August 17, 2011
70 mph winds, nickle-sized hail, and a strong micro-burst left the Rose Hill Rec center without part of its roof Wednesday night.
"The biggest part of the winds were for less than a minute. We had sustained winds in the 50 to 55 mph range for about 5 minutes, then, the big micro-burst came through, and after that, it was pretty much over," said Jim Schmidt, Butler County Emergency Management director.
When the storm hit, activities were in full-swing inside the rec center, until the roof tore off, throwing ceiling tiles to the floor, leaving about an inch of water on the floor as well.
"It was almost like it was tornadic, because you could hear it ripping and blowing, and it was hanging over the sides of the windows," said Stacy Dinicola, Rec Center employee.
Dinicola says at that point, she knew the roof of the rec center had blown off.
"It hit, and it hit hard, fast and furious," said Dinicola.
Water poured into the gym, through the ceiling, the windows, and, "It is literally pouring in like a river underneath the doors," said Dinicola.
"We had probably an inch of water on the gym floor," said Troy Moree, Rose Hill recreation superintendent.
Moree doesn't expect the rubber floor will have to be replaced. However he said water caused significant damage to the ceiling, tiles and insulation.
The rec center will be closed until Monday.
Heaters will be in the building for the next 4 or 5 days to dry out the water.
About a mile east of the rec center, Alvin Herbers and his wife were inside their home when the storm hit.
"As I was looking out the window, it was raining more off to the southeast. Then, all of a sudden, things changed, and it was a straight," said Herbers.
Two of the buildings that have been on their farm since the early 60s were blown down during the storm.
"Probably the most damage we saw was the tree that fell on the car and into the side of the house on Rose Hill Road," said Schmidt.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in the storm.
As far as Herbers is concerned, there was a silver lining out of those ominous clouds.
"It was bad, but we're very thankful for the rain, because we needed the rain very bad," said Herbers.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
High winds swept through southern portions of KAKEland, damaging buildings in one city that has already been hit hard by storms this year.
According to Butler County Emergency management, the Rose Hill Recreation Center’s roof was torn off the building by high winds. An inch of water was also found inside. They also report several tree limbs downed, and a large tree uprooted on the eastern and southern parts of the city. One person reported a large tree limb fell on their home and car in the 200 block of south Rose Hill Road.
This is the third time this storm season that Rose Hill was hit by powerful storms. On April 8th, hail shattered car and home windows and shredded siding. On May 24th, high winds destroyed several barns east of Rose Hill.
According to KAKEland meteorologist Jay Prater, the same storm complex that hit Rose Hill Wednesday, earlier brought winds between 60 to 70 mph to the Viola and Clearwater areas. The storm also uprooted some trees and downed tree limbs.
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