COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Storms with swift, straight-line winds soaked parts of Ohio, damaging trees and barns and leaving about 45,000 customers without power early Thursday as commuters dodged fallen branches on roads and backups at intersections where traffic lights were out.
Straight-line winds topping 70 mph were reported and more than two dozen tornado warnings were issued as two rounds of storms pummeled the state, but no twisters have been confirmed, said Phillip Johnson, who was part of the team monitoring developments for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. No serious injuries were reported in the state.
Reports of damage were still coming in Thursday morning, and dozens of counties remained under flash flood watches or other flooding advisories as the storm system moved out of Ohio. Johnson said the extent of the damage and power outages appeared much less severe than that from a series of storms nearly a year ago that knocked out electricity for a million Ohio customers, some of them for up to a week.
In Hardin County the damage appears to be limited to some tree limbs felled by the wind. There were more than 1,500 people in the county reported without power early this morning by American Electric Power, but no outages in the county were listed on the company’s website by mid-morning.
The State Highway Patrol said several barns were damaged in Wapakoneta. A spokeswoman for the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Department said trees were leveled there.
High winds apparently blew off the second story of an abandoned cinder block building in Caledonia in Marion County, The Marion Star reported.
Morrow County’s EMA director told The Columbus Dispatch there were two reports of possible tornados there.
American Electric Power had more than 39,000 customers in the dark Thursday morning, with about 16,000 of those in central Ohio’s Franklin County. Dayton Power & Light reported about 3,400 affected customers.