Weather wreaks havoc

Tribune Chronicle / Raymond L. Smith Workers with Tarzan Tree Service spent much of Friday morning cutting down a tree that fell onto the roof of a vacant house at 1051 Central Parkway Ave. SE in Warren around 4 a.m. High winds and heavy, wet snow that began Thursday evening caused numerous trees and wires to come down all across the area.

WARREN — Nasty winds and snow Thursday night into Friday morning caused power outages in Trumbull and Mahoning counties, and throughout northeast Ohio.

The foul weather also downed trees, including one at 1051 Central Parkway Ave. SE, where a removal crew with Tarzan Tree Service spent much of Friday morning cutting the remainder of the tree.

Central Parkway resident Dawn Hanna said she was awakened by a large boom just after 4 a.m., when half of the large tree in her front yard at 1061 Central Parkway Ave. SE fell onto the roof of the vacant neighboring home.

Chris Eck, spokesman for First Energy, was unable to say how many local customers lost electricity at the height of the outages, but across Ohio, the number was about 75,000.

The northwest corner of the state was spared, however, “the northeast got slammed,” Eck said, “all along Lake Erie got it pretty hard.”

“Heavy snow, it always finds the weakest tree branches and brings them down,” Eck said. “It’s the perfect storm to damage our infrastructure.”

Some schools in Trumbull County also were closed.

Cleveland-based National Weather Service meteorologist Marty Mullen says wind gusts from the storm passing through Thursday night into Friday morning reached 55 mph near the Lake Erie shoreline with sustained winds of 20-30 mph.

Mullen says areas in Ashtabula County in the far northeast corner of the state received 10-12 inches of wet, heavy snow while temperatures hovered around freezing. Areas west of Cleveland reportedly received less than an inch.

Winds caused power outages throughout the area with numerous school closings reported east of the city.