Storms produce strong winds, plenty of rain but little damage

LISBON -Tuesday’s thunderstorm that passed through the area caused little damage despite packing 70 mph winds and dumping up to four inches of rain in parts of Columbiana County.

“There were no reports of any flooding or any requests for assistance,” said county Emergency Management Agency Director Luke Newbold, who activated the emergency operations center as a precaution.

Another series of severe thunderstorms was expected to pass through the region last night, with the National Weather Service issuing a flood watch for the county until sometime this morning.

According to the NWS, Tuesday’s storm dumped the following amounts of rainfall in the county: East Liverpool, 4.1 inches; Lisbon, 2.2 inches; Millport, 2.1 inches, Salem, 2.7 inches; and East Palestine, 2.5 inches. The storm also produced winds of up to 60-70 mph and occasional hail in some areas.

There were many reports of downed power lines and tree branches and uprooted trees, with some of the more serious damage occurring in the Desellem Road area of Madison Township and Gavers Road in Hanover Township, Newbold said.

Ohio Edison reported 5,851 customers were without power for varying periods, while American Electric Power reported only 212 customers without electricity as of Tuesday evening.

As for speculation by residents and others that a possible tornado may have caused damage on Desellem Road and near West Point, the NWS confirmed that was not the case based on damage and storm data.

“We did not say it was a twister. We were only reporting that the people at these homes believed they saw a funnel cloud,” Newbold said.

He said the NWS advised him the weather conditions were not conducive for formation of funnel clouds, with straight-line winds generated by the storms responsible for the tree damage.

“They said nothing is impossible but the chances were very, very slim there were any tornadoes,” Newbold said.

He reminded residents to report outages to their electricity supplier and any downed live power lines to the law enforcement agency in their community.