Storms down trees, cut power

LISBON – Weather swept through the area Tuesday night, bringing winds and needed rain.

However, in some cases storms knocked out power. In East Palestine, street lights were not operating and police cruisers were sitting in the area helping traffic navigate down North Market Street.

Columbiana County Emergency Management Agency Luke Newbold said some damage was reminiscent of a tornado, with twisted damage to a tree in the Desellem Road area of Madison Township. Residents in that area near West Point believed it may have been a tornado and reported a funnel cloud to the sheriff’s office at 6:09 p.m. The reported funnel cloud was headed eastbound, residents said.

However, Newbold said the National Weather Service at this time has not confirmed a tornado. Newbold said he has taken photos of the damage.

Additionally, Newbold said sheriff’s Lt. Andy Sweeney reported seeing pea-sized hail in West Point at 6:25 p.m. At about that time, two more calls were made to the sheriff’s department about a possible funnel cloud in the West Point area.

One of the many trees on the ground on Desellem Road reportedly landed on the car at the Maines residence, shattering the back window and denting the roof. Their back deck, grill and shed were damaged and a swingset upset, according to Newbold.

Another tree reportedly fell onto another car on Gavers Road, where there was also a reported live wire down. Through various areas of the county, Newbold said he was contacted about trees down and electric power outages.

In East Rochester in the western part of the county, U.S. Route 30 was closed when a large tree fell across the road. The tree was removed but, before it was, a truck trying to get around it went into a ditch and got struck, blocking the road in front of the old elementary school.

American Electric Power was reporting 212 residents without power as of 6:30 p.m. while Ohio Edison reported 5,851 residents without power shortly after the storm. Residents are reminded to contact the power company if they are without power and immediately report any down power lines to the sheriff’s office or police departments.

A severe thunderstorm watch remained in effect on Tuesday until midnight.