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Cleanup from thunderstorm continues

Damage from Wednesday’s thunderstorm kept Elyria and Lorain city workers busy Thursday.

At least four trees that were about 50 feet tall fell in Elmwood Cemetery, 640 North Ridge Road, Lorain, said Mayor Chase Ritenauer.

About 15 city workers cleaned up the cemetery. Ritenauer wrote in a Thursday email that the estimated damage is still being assessed.

In Elyria, about 75 trees fell or lost a significant amount of branches, said Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka. She said most of the damage was on the north side of Elyria.

Elyria residents with debris are asked to leave it at their curbs. Workers will remove debris 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Tree trunks or branches up to 10 inches in diameter will be accepted.

The storm, which began about 5:50 p.m. and lasted about 45 minutes, produced winds of 55 mph to 65 mph and 0.7-inch of rain. Rain continued overnight. By 8 a.m. Thursday, about 1.4 inches of rain had fallen.

Toriano Bowens, who lives at the corner of Dunton Road and Elyria Avenue in Sheffield, said he saw a small funnel cloud descend and hit trees on his property before ascending.

Gary Garnett, a meterologist at the National Weather Service in Cleveland, said Bowens may have seen a “gustnado or vortex spin-up.” A gustnado is slang for a small tornado, he said.

A vortex spin-up is swirling winds that resemble a tornado, but is not as intense and is generally brief. “There is a lot going on in the front of one of those storms,” Garnett said.

At the height of the storm, about 13,900 Ohio Edison customers lost electricity across Lorain County. Most were in Elyria, Lorain or Sheffield Township, said Joe Faga, an Ohio Edison spokesman.

Crews from Medina and Sandusky counties were called in to help restore power, Faga said. About 200 customers were without electricity at 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Faga said full restoration should occur by early this morning.

Chief Photographer Bruce Bishop contributed to this story.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

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