Central Ohio suffered an evening of frayed nerves as tornado sirens sounded and wind gusts reached 70 mph, but there were no immediate reports of major damage.
Central Ohio suffered an evening of frayed nerves as tornado sirens sounded and wind gusts reached 70 mph, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.
The worst of the storms have passed. A tornado watch for the area was canceled about 9 p.m. Wind gusts up to 45 mph could continue overnight.
The Pickaway County sheriff's office reported storm damage along Walnut Creek Pike and Winchester Pike east of Ashville. At least three people reported a tornado on the ground in the area, said Sheriff Robert Radcliff.
Winchester Pike was closed north of Rt. 752 after winds stripped bricks and the roof from a house and threw the debris in the road, Radcliff said. Other houses east of Ashville also sustained damage and a shed was destroyed. No injuries were reported. The Red Cross was assisting the suddenly homeless family. About 1.5 miles to the west, numerous trees and power lines were downed along Walnut Creek Pike.
A tornado warning was issued, and then canceled, for southeastern Franklin County, northwest Fairfield County and northeast Pickaway County earlier this evening. National Weather Service radar earlier indicated a storm near Ringgold in Pickaway County that could spawn a tornado.
A tornado warning also was issued for eastern Delaware County and northwest Licking County out of another storm cell near Hartford, but that warning also was canceled and a warning soon issued for Knox County.
Other areas of central Ohio faced severe-thunderstorm warnings as the unusual autumn storm blew through.
At 9 p.m. AEP Ohio reports about 1,600 customers without electricity in Franklin County, 4,000 without power in Licking County and 1,400 in Delaware County. About 360 AEP customers also were without power in Fairfield County. South Central Power reported 1,150 outages in Fairfield County and 1,100 in Pickaway County.
Numerous wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph were measured across central Ohio, topped by gusts of 68 mph west of Westerville and 70 mph in Delaware. An amateur radio operator reported that he saw a tornado on the ground near Carroll in Fairfield County. The sheriff's office said it could not confirm a touchdown.
Two miles north of Richwood in Union County, high winds stripped the roof from a barn near the Marion County line.
The winds ripped down trees and power lines and, in Delaware County, a tree fell on a car containing three people in the 2100 block of Home Road. The Liberty Township Fire Department had to rescue the occupants, but they were not hurt, according to the Powell police department.
A powerful cold front, which spawned tornadoes all day, swept through the Columbus area after 7 p.m.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium closed early at 4:30 p.m. due to the weather threat.
The Storm Prediction Center rated the Columbus area as facing a moderate risk of severe weather, with a 15-percent chance of tornadoes.
A seldom-seen "particularly dangerous situation" tornado watch for western Ohio, including Dayton and Cincinnati, was issued this morning.
The Storm Prediction Center expected a few strong, long-track tornadoes to develop along the storm front. Several tornadoes have touched down in Indiana and Illinois, causing significant damage in some areas, as the front advanced toward Ohio.
At least three people died in storms in Illinois. The National Weather Service fielded reports of 80 tornadoes across the Midwest, mainly in Illinois and Indiana.