Thunderstorm lights up sky and 911 board

A storm swept over Trumbull and Mahoning counties Tuesday afternoon, leaving downed trees and power lines in its path.

Lightning whips cracked through the sky, resulting in the National Weather Service issuing a severe thunderstorm watch from 4:15 p.m. to midnight. Heavy rains with some hail fell throughout the late afternoon and evening, flooding some roads and leaving debris scattered.

Warren resident Margaret Morrison, 26, was at her home on Homewood Avenue at the height of the storm when she heard a crash in her backyard.

“I came outside, and there was a huge tree branch sticking out of the roof of my garage,” Morrison said. “It about scared my son half to death.”

Warren’s Packard Park was also hit by the storm, as several trees just behind the music hall were struck by lightning.

In Stevens Park in Niles, two large trees fell, knocking down power lines. The trees fell near the entrance to the park off Crandon Avenue near Washington Elementary School and the First United Methodist Church.

Niles City Street Department crews were out with chain saws, cutting the limbs and branches off the wires.

Around 6:30 p.m., Lordstown police were directing traffic off of Palmyra Road, where two telephone poles fell across the road near the intersection of South Leavitt Road.

In Kinsman, storms also knocked down power lines and trees. A resident of Route 7 in Kinsman said she saw lightning and then noticed the power pole across the street was snapped in half with power out to many residents in the area.

She said it seemed like a ”mini tornado,” with heavy downpours and strong gusts of wind and after seeing the lightning noticed a burning smell.

Kinsman resident Molly Rink told WYTV 33 News, ”We counted 35 trees on the way home and three detours.”

Downed trees and wires resulted in a loss of power for residents across Trumbull and Mahoning counties, though power outages were more concentrated in Girard, Kinsman and Howland.

About 3,100 First Energy customers were without power at approximately 8 p.m., according to spokesman David Turner. Turner said they won’t have an estimate on when power will be restored until after the storm period is over.

A 911 spokeswoman could be heard on scanner traffic reporting that every single line on the board at the center was lit up during the peak and after the storm.

Scanner traffic included reports of a fire in a tree due to power lines near St. Nicholas Orthodox Church off North Road, a transformer was reported blown in Warren and other sparking near Gretchen Drive in Howland, and some minor damage at Skyway Drive-in off North Leavitt Road.

In southern Trumbull County, Tibbetts Wick Road in Liberty Township by Katie’s Korner ice cream shop was closed where falling limbs brought down power lines.

Ohio was not alone in the thunderstorm warning, a band of affected areas stretched from Northern Illinois to Eastern Pennsylvania.

Roads were also flooded including the area of Route 169 near Benton Street in Warren.

At around 10 p.m. the area was hit by a second storm which brought lightning and hail.

Officials at the Howland Fire Department reported at least four new calls related to the storm for both downed power lines and trees.

Meanwhile, Youngstown fire said calls have been consistently pouring in all day and night, but no serious injuries or fires were reported.