By Loren Genson
BRUNSWICK — A tornado severely damaged two homes on Royal Oak Drive in Brunswick on Monday evening. High winds ripped the roof off one home and removed part of the roof from another.
The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down, possibly a high EF1 or a low EF2 — meaning the twister packed winds of about 110 mph.
The weather service said at least an 1 1/2 inches of rain fell during the storm.
A second possible tornado touchdown also was reported north of state Route 303 on Clover Drive.
Police officers went door-to-door checking on residents. Everyone is accounted for and no injuries reported, officials said.
A pregnant woman who lived in the home in the 1500 block of Oak Drive, across the street from the homes with the most damage, was transported to a hospital as a precaution.
Becky Siverd’s in-laws said she was eight months pregnant and there was concern because of the stress of the situation.
“She went down to the basement with the dog, but it was a lot for her to take,” said Robin Siverd, the woman’s father-in-law.
The tornado was triggered by a thunderstorm that blew across Medina County.
Responding were Brunswick police and firefighters and firefighters from Hinckley Township, Medina and the Medina County Technical Rescue Team.
Officials received calls about the damage about 7:10 p.m.
No tornado sirens blasted in Brunswick because no alert was issued by the National Weather Service said Rob Marok, the IT administrator for the city.
Even if the weather service had issued a warning, the sirens installed in Brunswick have been disabled for several years, Marok said.
The city shut the sirens down after an attack from computer hackers set them off several years ago.
The city was unable to override the hacker and the sirens have been offline ever since.
“They were put in incorrectly, without any security to protect them,” he said.
Many residents said they went to their basements after receiving alerts about thunderstorms on their cellular phones from both the National Weather Service and Brunswick Code Red, an opt-in service for severe weather alerts.
Marcel Mol’s family made their way down to the basement of their home at the corner of Royal Oaks Drive and Oak Tree Drive.
Mol’s home sustained structural damage to the porch. Fire officials had him leave the home while they inspected it for safety Monday night. His neighbor’s home on Royal Oak Drive was missing a roof and part of the second-story walls.
“It’s devastating to see his home,” Mol said. “We’ve never seen anything like this.”
Dan Gladish, Brunswick’s chief building inspector, said residents were evacuated from four homes in the following the storm.
Police said an emergency shelter was set up at the Brunswick Community Recreation and Fitness Center, 3637 Center Road.
The Medina County Technical Rescue, a collapse rescue squad, set up a makeshift construction site to cut lumber to help stabilize the homes.
“They’re already underway in helping make sure these homes are secure,” he said.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Medina County until 2:45 a.m., after the storm dumped between and inch and 1 1/2 inches of rain.
A dispatcher with the Medina County Sheriff’s Office said there was the usual amount of road flooding in the areas around Chippewa Lake, but no reports of road closings or damage.
A dispatcher at the Medina post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, said there were no reports of road closings or weather-related crashes.
“We had no calls at all,” the dispatcher said. “No trees down or anything.”
Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson.