2 tornadoes confirmed in Trumbull County

EF1 touched down in Mecca; EF0 briefly landed in Johnston

Staff photo / R. Michael Semple Paul Straley of Mecca stands outside his tornado-damaged home at 2369 Griffith Drive on Friday evening.

CORTLAND — Paul Straley and his son, Easton, were working out at a gym Thursday when they received a shocking call from his wife, Jennifer. A tornado hit their home.

When they arrived at the 2369 Griffith Drive house, the Straleys assessed the damage left by the tornado that the National Weather Service later identified as an EF-1, which had a sustained wind of 104 mph.

The door of the attached garage was knocked off, the roof and siding damaged and a tree fell on the deck.

“We found our dog hiding in the basement,” Paul Straley said. “The garage suffered the most damage.”

Straley’s house appeared to have the most damage in the neighborhood, but trees fell onto the vehicles and lawns of others in the area.

“We’re expecting our insurance adjuster to come here (today),” he said.

Kera Hall and her son, Donald, 7, were at their 5908 state Route 46 home, decorating his pumpkin, and talking on the phone with her mother, when her mother questioned if everything was OK.

Hall, who had not been monitoring the weather, looked outside and saw the sun still shining.

A few moments later, when she looked outside for a third time, the winds significantly had picked up, and it was difficult for her to close her screen door.

“We don’t have a basement, so we ran to the bathtub and got in,” Hall said. “I could hear the wind over us.”

A few seconds later, all the power went off .

They sat in the dark for the remainder of the night.

“The tornado apparently went over the top of my house,” she said. “God was watching over us.”

On Friday, several neighbors stopped by to check on them.

“One neighbor and his son came over to help clear my yard and stayed all day,” she said. “Our neighbors banded together to help one another.”

Two tornadoes with top wind speeds between 80 to 104 mph touched down Thursday afternoon in Trumbull County, according to the National Weather Service in Cleveland.

The EF1 touched down 6:15 p.m. near Mecca, just east of Mosquito Lake, according to Zachary Sefcovic of the National Weather Service in Cleveland. It lifted from the ground about 6:18 p.m.

The tornado hit several residences on Griffith and Edgewater drives, causing major damage to an attached garage.

It traveled 0.6 miles and had a maximum width of 50 yards.

“Several trees were snapped and uprooted in the path,” Sefcovic said. “It dissipated east of Phillips Rice Road.”

A brief EF-0 tornado touched down on Porter Drive, south of state Route 88 in Johnston, causing tree damage throughout the area during the one minute it last before lifting at 6:21 p.m.

EF-0 tornados have average wind speeds of 65 to 85 mph.

It traveled about 0.07 miles and was about 20 yards wide. It had sustained winds of 80 mph.

Six tornados touched down Thursday across northern Ohio. The strongest touched down at 5:10 p.m. in Jackson Township in Stark County. It had sustained winds of 110 mph.

It initially touched down near North Park in Jackson, damaging trees, recreational buildings and a large garage. As it traveled east, it damaged a business along Wales Avenue NW. It traveled 2.9 miles and had a width of 50 yards.

To the west, a roof was ripped off a house in Wickliffe, where an EF1 tornado with winds reaching an estimated 97 miles per hour was confirmed to have touched down for about a minute around 4:50 p.m., according to NWS Cleveland.

Radar data in Pennsylvania on Thursday night indicated three twisters swirled near Mount Nebo and Hampton in Allegheny County and Buffalo Township in Washington County, forecasters said.

Surveys in the Pittsburgh district Friday confirmed EF1 tornadoes in Jefferson County and in Warnock, each with speeds around 90 or 95 miles per hour, according to posts on the National Weather Service Pittsburgh Facebook page.

The Pittsburgh forecast area averages three confirmed tornadoes per year, but has had more than 25 confirmed in 2021, with around 10 of those happening in October, including five on Oct. 16.

No injuries were reported from Thursday night.

From 1950 to 2020, 11 October tornadoes were confirmed in the Pittsburgh forecast area, according to the National Weather Service.


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