Storm causes severe damage
LISBON — Local officials are still waiting to learn whether the Tuesday night storm that ripped through the northern part of Columbiana County was something more than just high winds.
County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Brian Rutledge said the hardest hit area appears to be portions of Fairfield, Middleton and Unity townships.
While the storm toppled trees and limbs, it also snapped more than 30 Ohio Edison telephone poles, knocking out power to 3,800 customers at one time. Power was restored to the majority, with about 1,500 customers not expected to have electricity until this morning.
Rutledge said the most severe path of the eastward storm appears to have been from the 43000 block of state Route 558 in Fairfield Township to state Route 517, Signal Road, state Route 7, New Waterford and into Middleton Township.
“If you look at it on a map it’s pretty much a straight line,” he said.
The only household reporting significant damage was a house trailer on Taylor Road in Middleton Township. Pamela Miller said she and her adult granddaughter were in bed when they heard the loud wind followed by cracking sounds as parts of two trees fell into their home.
“We grabbed the pup and dove under the bed,” she said.
Miller said the house trailer was destroyed and they are currently living in their son’s home, which is located on the same property. Because of the age of the house trailer, Miller said she had difficulty getting insurance.
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the National Weather Service is not sending staff into the field to examine the damage, which helps them determine whether it was caused by a tornado.
Instead, Rutledge sent them photographs of the damage. From that, and other information, the NWS will determine if the damage was caused by a downburst, straight-line high winds or something else.