Storms, lightning buffet region

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2000

Wednesday night’s severe thunderstorm ripped through Rome Township, toppling a barn and rolling a trailer off its foundation.

Thursday, August 10, 2000

Wednesday night’s severe thunderstorm ripped through Rome Township, toppling a barn and rolling a trailer off its foundation.

Email newsletter signup

The rest of Lawrence County suffered mostly from fallen trees and other damage that knocked out power overnight.

"I talked with dispatchers this morning who said it was mostly scattered limbs down over power lines, except for Rome," said Mike Boster, deputy director of the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency.

"There was no one injured, as far as we’re aware," Boster said.

Winds destroyed the mobile home along County Road 12, near the five-mile marker. The barn was located alongside Ohio 7, near the 11-mile marker, he said.

Rome volunteer firefighters helped remove a horse from the barn wreckage, he added.

"The National Weather Service is coming in today to check those areas for signs of a possible tornado," Boster said.

Ironton Police Department and Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department dispatchers reported little activity related to the severe weather.

Forecasters said a cold front slammed into a mass of warm air over Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia, spawning severe storms that brought wind, rain, hail and lightning into the Ohio River Valley.

High winds twisted trees, some of which fell into roadways, Boster said. Hardest hit were County Road 12, County Road 42 and Ohio 7 – centering on Rome Township.

The most severe part of the storm system, one which devastated Cox’s landing in Cabell County, W.Va., moved nearest to northern Lawrence County, Boster said.

Residents removed many trees from roadways with chainsaws and electric crews from Buckeye Rural and AEP worked through the night, he said.

AEP spokesperson Melissa McHenry said about 1,000 county residences lost power, and all but one saw service restored overnight.

About 5,000 customers around Portsmouth remain without power today as all AEP crews and contract crews work on damaged electric lines, Ms. McHenry said.

Most service should be restored tonight, she said.

West Virginia seemed hardest hit by the line of storms. Officials there reported tens of thousands of homes without electricity this morning.

AEP customers can report power outages by calling 1-800-277-2177.

The National Weather Service predicts calm weather this weekend and into early next week, as cool air settles over the Tri-State.

Winds from an earlier storm on Wednesday tore off the second floor of an unoccupied house in Ashville and damaged four trailers at a trailer park.

The storms continued pounding much of central Ohio into the evening, drenching some areas with abundant rain in just a few hours, downing trees and power lines. Several thousand households in the Columbus area were without power.

Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings were issued for parts of southwestern and northeastern Ohio, though no tornados were immediately confirmed.

The storms delayed the Texas Rangers-Cleveland Indians game 91 minutes and the Atlanta Braves-Cincinnati Reds game 43 minutes. The heavy rains also delayed evening tournament matches at the Tennis Masters-Cincinnati at Mason.