"There's areas that truly look like a war zone", he said, according to the Associated Press, adding that seven other people were injured in the city, located some 80 miles northwest of Dayton.
A large tornado struck near Trotwood, Ohio, 12 kilometres from Dayton, and Mayor Mary McDonald reported "catastrophic damage" in the community of 24,500 people.
At least one tornado hit Dayton and at least two touched down near the city, including one near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, just east of the city, media reports said, part of a series of storms that have ravaged the U.S. Midwest in recent days.
We have a couple of complexes of thunderstorms moving in early this morning that developed late last night in western Nebraska and central Kansas.
"This is definitely the time of year we expect to see the most tornadoes", he says.
Storm damaged homes in Brookville, Ohio, US.
The roof of this block was torn off in the severe storms. Low temperatures will drop into the upper 60s.
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"I just got down on all fours and covered my head with my hands", said Dutmers, who said the winds blew out windows around his house, filled rooms with storm debris, and took down most of his trees. The second crossed the highway about three miles away.
President Trump on Tuesday afternoon tweeted: "Storms overnight across OH and many other States were very unsafe and damaging".
Towns outside of Dayton, including Beavercreek and Northwood, were among those hit the hardest.
Structural damage was reported to a house and barn in Laurelville around 1:10 a.m. EDT Tuesday.
Numerous roads have been closed as authorities clear debris with snowplows and several shelters have been set up for those displaced by the storm.
At least 45 people in and around Dayton went to hospitals with injuries, a lot of them minor, according to Elizabeth Long, a spokeswoman for the Kettering Health Network.
West Michigan will have mainly dry conditions for the first half of Memorial Day with some sunshine. The entire WFMJ viewing area is under an "enhanced" severe weather threat.