Dayton official describes devastation of tornado strike

Dayton Assistant Fire Chief Nicholas Hosford tells "GMA" how the Ohio city is recovering after a severe tornado swept through.
6:40 | 05/28/19

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Transcript for Dayton official describes devastation of tornado strike
We want to get right to that breaking news. Tornadoes across the heartland. Take a look at Dayton, Ohio, as the sun rises. People waking up to scenes like this. Homes, apartment buildings, businesses and schools destroyed. The midwest hit so hard overnight, Dayton one of the largest cities in Ohio was struck by back-to-back twisters. So right now rescue crews are going door to door trying to save people that may be trapped as millions wake out without power. When you look at those images it's not hard to see why some are comparing the damage to a war zone. So much devastation there right now. More than 50 tornadoes reported across eight states in the last 24 hours. ABC's Alex Perez starts us off from Pendleton, Indiana. Reporter: A lot are waking up to assess the damage. Take a look at the power of this storm ripping this massive tree from its roots and slamming it into this home. There are pieces of the home underneath all of this. This storm moved in very quickly leaving a path of destruction. Tornado on the ground. Reporter: A scene out of a horror movie as a shadow tornado seen through lightning illuminating the sky. Our house is gone. A tornado just hit our house. We got a husband cut in half here. Right now I'm standing in front of what used to be a spa. Neighbors tell me this was actually rebuilt last year. Completely brand-new and now it is completely destroyed. Reporter: The two tornadoes covering the same path, 40 minutes apart. Reports of several people trapped if maybe an elderly female trapped. House collapsed. They can hear her screaming from inside. Family saying they're going to be trapped in the apartment building. Their ceiling claspsed on them. Reporter: This family surveying the damage in their home. The new life worship center completely destroyed by the tornado. They have about 25 people, adults and children, in the bathroom inside there. Reporter: At least 25 people riding out the tornado inside the new worship center church where the steeple was completely ripped off and this part of the roof sliding onto a church van. The group was headed back from a memorial day trip to king's island when the first wave of the storm hit. Make Gifford was part of the church group that took cover in their church. Within five, ten seconds it goes from dead quiet to a jet engine taking off. I run in, just dive on the group. My head lands on a vent and I'm laying there shaking. My head is up against the wall and the wall is shaking back and there's wind from the tornado is pushing through up through the vent. Reporter: Shaken, Gifford recalls the loudest noise he says he has ever heard. Scariest moment of my life. Reporter: The aftermath of debris landing on Ohio's I-75 where snowplows were used to clear debris from the highway. Neighborhoods in its aftermath appearing apocalyptic. Over on my right several tornados that passed through taking off this section of wall off this complex here sending brick, wood and people's personal belongings flying. Reporter: In Pendleton a storm damaged 75 homes. Multiple gas leaks and one man suffering a head injury. Residents going into emergency prep mode once they saw a rotation in the sky. We saw the spinning. I turned around for like three seconds and the tree in our backyard actually fell. Reporter: The storms a reminder of the ef-3 that hit el Reno, Oklahoma, decimating the town. Two lives lost but back in Ohio the power of prayer keeping that church group thankful this morning? We're lucky to be here. Reporter: And teams from the national weather service will be out assessing the damage today but the long process of cleaning all this up is only just beginning. Cecilia. Thank you. Dayton fire chief joins us now. We are thinking about your community. We know you were working through the night. What can you tell us about what you're seeing. Thank you, Cecilia. As the sun is coming up, I think we're starting to grasp the full magnitude throughout our community. Can you walk us through what the scope of damage is you're seeing? As we've toured in the early morning hours we have significant neighborhoods with damage. We have homes flattened, entire apartment complexes destroyed and businesses throughout our community where walls have collapsed, roofs are gone. Significant, significant damage throughout the -- not only the city of Dayton but the suburbs, as well. We are seeing some of that damage right now on our screens. So far it seems like the good news is no reported fatalities, does that still stand? As of now, that still stands, we have no reported fatalities in the city of Dayton and in talking with our neighboring departments, we are not aware of any fatalities at this time. We do have several injuries and we have evacuated numbers of people into shelters. Are there people trapped at this hour that you know of? So, the immediate calls that came in for victims trapped were responded to with our crews while literally the storms were still rolling through. I am not aware of anyone trapped in their homes at this time however we'll be deploying not only fire and rescue resources locally but search and rescue teams going door to door to confirm we don't have anyone trapped inside their homes. We're hearing you lost power to water plants and pump stations. How is that impacting the community this morning. It will have a significant impact on the community. We're asking all community members to conserve water at this time. Our major pumping stations are out, which will limit ourable to provide water through the community? How prepared was the community for this, a tornado of this magnitude? So I don't know that any community is ever fully prepared for this type of devastation, however I think the reconduction in injuries is in key part to the early notification and people taking those warnings seriously moving to safe areas of their homes prior to the storms 20u67ing down. Assistant chief Nicholas Hosford, we're thinking of your community.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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