Community comes together in the wake of Celina tornado

Community comes together in the wake of Celina tornado (WKEF/WRGT)

CELINA, Ohio (WRGT/WKEF) — Piles of debris are becoming common place in Celina after a tornado ripped through the city. It's taking a community wide effort to put the town back together.

In between the broken branches and mangled roofs, you'll find the structure on which Celina is truly built.

“I tell them you’ll never feel bad if you serve somebody,” Celina High School Trick coach Dan Otten said to his players.

Dan Otten has been serving the community for 42 years as both a coach and the former athletic director.

“A year and a half ago I had cancer and had my hip amputated, I had a sarcoma,” Otten said.

He walks with a cane, but his players are his crutch.

“Last night, yesterday afternoon, the house got hit,” Otten said of the tornado.

A text came from his team, asking what can they do?

“Any help would be appreciated by any help in the neighborhood,” Otten said.

“We all just sent text messages that said we could come and everything,” team member Ryan McDonough said.

Word spread quickly, and work began with the coaches home.

“I guess more [people] than expected [showed up] and I’m proud of it,” McDonough said.

“So we gave them a street in another area that needs clean up,” Otten said.

Crews of students began cleaning the area around Dunham’s Sporting Goods. The inside of the store is destroyed.

“My life has been enriched by the cancer and this because you see all the good stuff coming out of it,” Otten said.

Cleanup is really just beginning in town, but hope remains.

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