no avatar

UPDATE - Storms down trees, flood roads overnight

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:05 PM

Storms downed trees and flooded roads overnight and the National Weather Service is trying to confirm reports of a possible tornado in Berlin Heights.

Ohio 162 will be closed for at least a day between Ohio 99 and Ohio 61 due to multiple downed trees and power lines.

"At the height of the storm, we had about 2,000 customers without power," said Gary Mortus, area manager for Ohio Edison.

Mortus said a stretch of Ohio 162 between Ohio 99 and 61 was hit hard.

"We had about seven or eight poles come down there," Mortus said. "We still have about 70 customers in that 162 area that are still without power. Crews are out there now and power will hopefully be restored by late evening at the latest 11 p.m."

Mortus said he was told today the storm produced "tornado-force" winds.

"We have about 60 other customers in Norwalk without power in no specific area," he said. "Those should be back on by mid-day."

Mortus said the storm hit about 1 a.m. today.

He also added Ohio Edison's tree-trimming program paid big dividends.

"It is paying off," Mortus said. "There were not as many outages as there have been in storms with similar winds."

High winds also blew part of the roof off of the salt storage facility at the county highway department on Jefferson Street in Norwalk.

Huron County highway department crews headed out shortly after 1:30 a.m. to clear trees off of roads. Collins Road near Hartland Center Road, West Collins Road south of Wells Road and Greenwich Angling Road south of Ohio 162 all had limbs blocking the road.

High water affected traffic on Section Line 30 south of Ohio 162, Townline 12 east of Ohio 61, Peru Center Road, Bauman Road, Prospect Road near Ohio 60 and Fairfield Angling Road near Townline 12.

Joe Kovach, county engineer, said crews were still out this morning looking for damage. He drove to the southern part of the county himself to check out roads.

"It seems like the northern part of the county is worse than the southern part," he said. "But it didn't look as bad as I thought it was going to be. There are a lot of tree limbs down."

Flooding was receding by mid-morning, he said. "There is some minor flooding in the places that tend to flood," Kovach said.

He said crews would be busy repairing damage at the county garage once they took care of the roads.

"Our priority right now is to scour the roads and get the roads back open, then we'll have some crews here cleaning up," he said.

A dispatcher at the sheriff's department said that office had about 25 calls reporting tree limbs, downed power lines and high water. She said Church Street and Division Lane in Collins was still closed mid-morning because of downed power lines and both Union Road in Townsend Township and Carroll Road in Hartland Township were closed until Ohio Edison crews could repair damage.

The dispatcher said she had received reports of broken poles south of Norwalk and in Willard.

Jason Roblin, assistant director of the emergency management agency, said Clifton Street, Reed street and Corwin Street in Norwalk were closed because of damage. He added Greenfield School in Willard was closed due to loss of power.

Ohio Department of Transportation is handling the repairs on Ohio 162.

The bulk of the damage in Norwalk appeared to be on the west side of the town. Numerous trees were down in the Marian and Morley drive areas.

John Kinney, 9 Marian Drive, had a tree fall on the back of his house. He was waiting this morning for the insurance adjuster to check out the damage,

"One of many that was hit pretty good," Kinney said. "It seemed like it came right down our street."

Chuck Coy, 28 Marian Drive, was checking out the damage this morning to his neighbor's house.

"Boy, I'll tell you, the old wind really howled last night," Coy said. "The transformer was barking and carrying on."

Winds of up 63 mph overnight toppled trees and power lines, leaving at least 50,000 homes without power throughout Ohio this morning. Most of the outages were in the central and northeast parts of the state.

Some schools delayed or canceled classes because of outages or because streets and sidewalks were littered with fallen trees and power lines.

Wind damage to rooftops was reported in Pickaway County, south of Columbus, and a parked semi was blown onto its side while the driver was inside sleeping.

Gusts of up to 63 mph were recorded overnight at Cleveland Hopkins airport, said National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Leins in Cleveland. A high wind warning that had been in effect for northeast Ohio until noon was canceled about 9:30 a.m. today, though the weather service said there could be occasional gusts to 40 mph through the day.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Staff Writer Scott Seitz and Managing Editor Joe Centers contributed to this story.

Recommended for You