Severe weather wallops area

Aaron Krause • May 26, 2011 at 10:18 AM

(UPDATED with video.) After work Wednesday, Norwalk resident Judy Stark and her boyfriend, Troy Meyer, decided it was a nice day for a cook-out.

It was sunny and warm out about 5 p.m., so the two drove to Veterans Memorial Lake Park to cook steaks on a grill. Stark and Meyer sat in their car by the K shelter.

(NOTE - To see pictures of the storm and damage, click HERE and HERE and HERE.)

About an hour later the sky turned pitch black. The winds "got really high."

The pair noticed what looked like a small tornado touch down about 100 feet from where they were, Stark said.

"I kind of freaked out. I didn't know what to do," Stark said.

Meyer told Stark not to move.

The car shook and Stark felt like she was in small earthquake.

The storm took out six or seven trees about 100 feet away, Stark said.

"About every two seconds a tree was snapping off," she added. "There's trees down everywhere out there."

Stark and Meyer decided to leave when they didn't see any more trees falling. Suddenly on the other side of shelter K, the storm felled two more trees.

They left after waiting a while. But before they got onto Old State Road, the tornado siren sounded.

Stark and Meyer returned home unscathed and found no damage.

Bob Schafer, of rural Monroeville, had just finished planting corn when a strong storm swept through his farm.

"I said 'What is that noise, where is that coming from?'" Schafer said. He said he's never seen anything like it.

He was able to get his equipment inside and take cover before the storm hit.

Still, he said some of his equipment was destroyed and his field got soaked. But to Schafer, that wasn't the most important thing.

"We're just lucky nobody got hurt," he said.

A dispatcher with the Norwalk post of the State Highway Patrol said there were no accidents. Except for a downed tree on Ohio 4 and Young Road near by the Seneca-Huron County line, there was little activity, the dispatcher said.

A Huron County Sheriff's Office dispatcher said she received many calls related to the storm, but couldn't elaborate.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the area Wednesday, as well as a Tornado warning, which expired at 7 p.m. A tornado watch was also issued until 10 p.m. Wednesday. Meanwhile, severe weather was reported in areas of Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana.

Strong storms are also expected today. There is an 80 percent chance of rain during the day and at night. The high was expected to be 75 today and the low 61 tonight.

The weather is expected to clear up by the weekend, with a 30 percent chance of rain Friday, 10 percent Saturday and 20 percent Sunday. Monday is expected to be sunny.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Reflector Managing Editor Joe Centers contributed to this story.

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