‘Very nice’ weather on the way for Valley

Staff report


The flash flood warning for Trumbull County and the flash flood watch for the rest of the area expired before midnight Thursday, and mostly sunny and seasonably warm low humidity days are predicted beginning today.

Eric Wilhelm, chief meteorologist for 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner, predicted the weather will be “very nice” through the weekend and next week will bring a lot of days in the 80s with just a small chance for showers and storms.

“As of this moment,” Wilhelm said about 10 p.m. Thursday, “we have experienced the fourth-wettest June on record” with 7.76 inches of precipitation recorded at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

He said the Trumbull County flash flood warning expired at 11 p.m., and the flash flood watch for the entire area expired at midnight.

Meanwhile, storms were blamed for two deaths and left hundreds of thousands of people without power across the southern United States, forecasters said.

Fallen trees ripped down power lines and crashed into buildings along a line from Texas to Alabama into Thursday morning, the national Storm Prediction Center reported. Similar damage continued later in the day in parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and southeast Virginia.

Straight-line winds of up to 85 mph damaged roofs Wednesday in the northeast Texas city of Greenville, the National Weather Service reported Thursday. Local officials had initially suspected a tornado. In Mississippi, Jackson Salter, 19, died when a tree fell on his home Wednesday night, Washington County Coroner Methel Johnson told The Delta Democrat-Times .

A fallen tree was also blamed for the Thursday afternoon death of a person in Columbia, S.C., the Richland County Coroner’s Office said. A wind gust of 79 mph was recorded in the city that afternoon. Across the Carolinas, there were dozens of reports of trees down, some landing on houses in North Carolina and others landing in the middle of Interstate 20 in South Carolina.

Utilities reported more than 200,000 customers without power Thursday evening across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. More than 50,000 remained without power in Arkansas on Thursday evening, long after storms exited.

Downburst winds – strong winds that descend from a thunderstorms and spread out when they hit the ground – appeared to be the greatest threat, said Dan Miller, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Columbia, S.C.

Such winds hold the potential for serious damage, such as bringing trees and powerlines down and tearing into the shingles and siding on homes, he said.

Tornados and hail had been listed as possibilities for flood-weary residents of the Missouri River Valley in the Midwest, but were slow to materialize Thursday.

In Ohio, heavy rains led to landslides and flooded highways. The Riverbend Music Center along the Ohio River east of Cincinnati postponed a Thursday evening show that was to feature country star Brantley Gilbert. The venue cited heavy rainfall and the rising river.

High water in central Ohio forced closure of roads in Columbus and part of Interstate 71 near Grove City Wednesday night. A rescue team from Franklin County’s sheriff’s office retrieved at least one stranded motorist.

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