October 22, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
47°F
test

Storms bring at least 3 twisters; woman killed

MARION — A storm system spawned at least three tornadoes as it swept across northern Ohio, killing one person and leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power Friday morning.

In Marion, about 40 miles north of Columbus, a falling tree limb struck a sport utility vehicle, killing a woman as she drove during the thunderstorms that hit on Thursday, police said.

The tree limb smashed the roof of Shawna Stevens’ Chevrolet Trailblazer in a residential neighborhood where she lived, police said. Stevens, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

In northeast Ohio, a tornado’s 100 mph winds destroyed three barns and killed livestock near Lodi in Medina County, said Mark Adams, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland. Hail caused significant crop damage in the area, he said.

In nearby Ashland County, a tornado damaged Black River High School buildings and a nearby house, the agency confirmed.

A third tornado hit Shelby, tearing into the roof of a factory and downing trees.

Officials on Friday were investigating tornado sightings in Wayne and Summit counties, the Weather Service said.

Approximately 1,100 Ohio Edison customers in Marion were still without power Friday, down from a high of 9,500 after the storms hit, said spokesman Mark Durbin.

He said the utility hoped to have service completely restored by this afternoon.

“The storm tore up a lot of trees, so we have to bring in additional forestry crews to clear out all the trees first, before we can get people working on the lines,” Durbin said.

Ohio Edison parent FirstEnergy Corp. had as many as 100,000 customers lose power statewide on Thursday, but the problems were most severe in Marion, he said.