GREEN COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Cleanup is underway in Greene County after a tornado left a path of destruction.
On Wednesday, an EF-3 tornado leveled several structures including two homes in the area. At one of the homes, built in the late 1800s, several people were trapped but eventually made it out just fine.
However, the damage could have been far worse.
"I could see the black cloud coming. As I was looking, I could see the funnel start to drop down," said Randy Johnson, a neighbor helping with the cleanup.
It was a terrifying sight as that funnel cloud started making its way to the small town of Cedarville.
"What I heard sounded like lumber breaking, like limbs breaking off, or two-by-fours breaking off - that kind of thing. Then it was very deadly quiet," said Roger Dobbins, owner of one of the destroyed homes.
Seconds later, Dobbins lost everything to the tornado that brought 145 mph winds. A silo, a barn, his home - everything was gone. The destruction left his family was trapped below the rubble.
"The fire department took a saw and cut a slot up here in the floor. [They] stuck a ladder down in and we climbed out," said Dobbins.
The super cell that led to the tornado was seen by meteorologists well before the touchdown. The question was: Where will a tornado touch the ground, if at all?
"It could have been much, much more of a problem if it would have passed through a densely populated area or in the evening when people are still coming home from work and traffic is moving slowly. If you have that tornado cross through an area like that, you've got a lot of people that are injured or dead," said FOX19 Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer.
If the funnel cloud made its way to the ground in downtown Cincinnati, there'd be lots of broken windows. If it touched down in a residential area, there'd likely be a lot of leveled homes.
"It's better to have it touchdown in a rural area than it is a more densely populated area just because that minimizes the threat of loss of life," said Horstmeyer.
That's what happened in Cedarville. Now, this small community is closer than ever.
"Everybody's looking to the future knowing that we can rebuild. A tragedy's not looming," said Meredith Johnson, another neighbor helping with cleanup efforts.
Dobbins' home isn't the only one destroyed. His daughter lives just down the road about a quarter-mile away. Her home was also destroyed in the tornado.