The Heat Is Online

Ohio, Pennsylvania Battered by Tornadoes, Storms

Twisters, floods batter Midwest

Tens of thousands lose power, winds blow out science center windows

 

The Associated Press, Aug 10, 2007

 

PITTSBURGH - A storm system spawned tornadoes as it swept across the upper Midwest and into Pennsylvania, killing at least one person, flooding basements and leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power early Friday.

 

In western Pennsylvania, Allegheny County and Pittsburgh officials declared a state of emergency as residents dealt with flooding and damage from the torrential downpours.

 

The worst damage in Ohio was across the north-central part of the state, where the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado in Shelby and were investigating tornado reports in Medina, Stark and Summit counties, said meteorologist Walter Fitzgerald. The storms tore the roof off a high school, damaged several other buildings, and downed trees across a swath of the state.

 

In Marion, Ohio, about 40 miles north of Columbus, a falling tree limb struck a sport utility vehicle, killing the 22-year-old driver a few blocks from her home, police said.

 

'A lot of cleaning'

 

"About half the city is without power, and we have a lot of cleaning up to do in the next few days," said Marion police Lt. Michael Shade.

Witnesses reported the tornado in Shelby struck the Dofasco Copperweld plant, said Mayor Jim Henkel. The roof of the plant, which makes steel pipe and tubular products, was damaged and the walls were blown down, but there were no reports of any injuries.

 

Power lines were down in Shelby, and the tornado moved cars in the parking lot and blew out car windows, the mayor said.

 

In nearby Ashland County, the roof of Black River High School was blown off, according to sheriff's Capt. Terry Hamilton.

 

"We've got trees down every place," Hamilton added.

 

Wind also damaged a restaurant and blew out car windows in a supermarket parking lot in Salem, about 15 miles southwest of Youngstown.

 

Outages, flooding in Penn.

 

In Western Pennsylvania, emergency dispatchers said they received several reports of funnel clouds, and about 35,000 homes and businesses were without electricity Friday morning. Duquesne Light spokesman Joe Vallarian said some customers might not have service until Saturday, because of heavy damage to power lines

 

Windows at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center were shattered when the storm hit the building, with 800 to 1,000 people inside. One girl there was treated for a cut on her hand. Several other buildings were damaged and trees were uprooted. In all, about two dozen people in the city were treated for minor injuries, authorities said.

 

The town of Millvale, on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, was hit hard by flooding: 25 of about 200 flooded homes had water up to the first floor, county Executive Dan Onorato said. Forty-five businesses also flooded. The same town had been badly damaged when the remnants of Hurricane Ivan cause a creek to overflow in 2004.

 

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press