Storm brings heavy winds

WARREN – While it may have been brief, a late Friday afternoon thunderstorm brought enough wind and rain to knock down trees throughout the area and cause a one-hour delay for the start of Warren’s Relay for Life.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of the area around 4:45 p.m., bringing high winds, hail and heavy rain.

Reports of trees down were reported in Newton Falls and Warren city and township.

A 911 spokesman said there were calls reported of some trees and large branches on wires or on roadways in mostly the western and central part of the county.

Brookfield and Warren township fire departments also reported receiving some calls. In Warren Township, trees were blocking traffic on North River Road and Meadowbrook Drive.

The biggest damage was a call Warren Fire Department received shortly before 5 p.m. of a large downed tree that went through the second-floor master bedroom of a home at 1710 Norwood Ave., Warren.

Resident Brandy Crum, 36, said she and other family members were not at home when the tree fell. She recalled hearing sirens but didn’t discover emergency crews were called to her home until a little while later when she returned home.

“The tree is inside the master bedroom,” she said as she stood outside surveying the damage. She also said the tree took out the chimney.

The storm hit an hour before the start of the Warren Relay for Life with event organizers deciding to delay the annual Survivor’s Lap for area cancer survivors by an hour.

Pam Marshall with the American Cancer Society said most of the event participants were under the tents and many of the survivors were eating their free meal first before taking the walk.

”It was better for us to wait an hour and let the survivors eat first,” she said.

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued an 80 percent chance of rain and a thunderstorm late Friday into early Saturday morning with cloudy skies and a 30 percent chance of rain for the rest of today. There will be a 50 percent chance of rain late Saturday into early Sunday.

Reporter Bonnie Hazen contributed to this story.