Roofs shred, roads flood, people die in powerful storm
Tornadoes, lightning strikes and gas leaks also plagued the area.
Crews were fanning out across northern and central Ohio early Friday to assess and repair damage from a series of storms that flipped parked airplanes, toppled tractor-trailers and killed a boy in a camp tent and a firefighter who tried to rescue a couple from a flash flood.
The slow-moving systems had mostly settled, but they left thousands of homes and businesses without power Friday morning, and flood and storm warnings remained in effect across northern Ohio for the third day.
Near the village of Wellington, about 40 miles southwest of Cleveland, rescue diver Al Anderson Jr. drowned Thursday afternoon when the current overcame him on his second attempt to reach two teens whose Jeep got caught in rising floodwaters, authorities said. Anderson, 47, was pronounced dead at a Cleveland hospital, Wellington fire officials said.
The teens were rescued by boat.
Funnel clouds reported
A tornado touched down around 5:30 p.m. Thursday near Winesburg in northeast Ohio's Holmes County, severely damaging two houses and several barns, said Mark Adams, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Cleveland. The roof of one business was blown a half-mile away, he said.
Minutes later, intense winds felled trees and knocked out power in the Stark County village of Brewster, Adams said. Weather service staff were to examine the scene to verify it was a tornado, he said, as they planned to do with a host of funnel cloud sightings and touchdowns reported by law enforcement across the state.
A Brewster fire dispatcher said early Friday that the area remained without electricity and might not get it back for several days.
As the storm passed southwest of Canton about 6 p.m. Thursday, a teenage boy was killed when a tree crashed into his campsite tent, according to Brewster Fire Chief Dale Starcher and Dunlap Hospital in Orrville. His name and hometown weren't immediately available.
A second teen was hospitalized with head injuries.
The storm split several trailers at a Brewster trailer park, according to the chief. "This is the worst I've seen since I moved here in 1975," he said.
Near Logan in southeast Ohio, nine people, seven of them law enforcement officers, were injured Thursday afternoon when lightning struck a shelter during a charity run, according to the State Highway Patrol.
An officer was in intensive care at Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus with critical injuries, according to the patrol and Paige Ludwig, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Special Olympics, the race organizer. None of the other victims was hurt as seriously, the patrol said.
Carbon monoxide poisonings
In northwest Ohio, a state of emergency was declared in the village of Wilshire, which sought help from Van Wert County. Village officials said they had exhausted all local resources to deal with downed trees and utility lines.
Rossford Fire Chief Jim Verbosky said two families suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from generators used to remove water from their basements.
One couple and their two children were being treated in Toledo Hospital, Verbosky said. The second couple was treated at their home.
A carbon monoxide leak that originated at a dry cleaners in Springfield Township sent eight people to Toledo Hospital. Employees had run two boilers Thursday without noticing that a venting stack had been shaken loose during the storm, said Rick Helminski, Springfield Township assistant fire chief.
In Lima, hospitals reported 17 injuries, including 13 from traffic accidents. Downed limbs and roofing shingles lined some streets.
"It just looks like someone came through with a shovel and scrapped the shingles off about half the houses out here," Karen Bingham said as she cleared debris from her lawn.
Single-engine planes parked on the tarmac at the Allen County Airport were turned upside-down by gusts up to 80 mph, said Brentley Lothamer, a weather service meteorologist in Indiana.