The cleanup effort is underway throughout the Akron area as a line of severe storms — and at least two confirmed tornadoes — hit the region around midnight Tuesday.
One tornado was about a football field wide and stretched for about 2 miles from near East Sparta in Stark County to the Tuscarawas County line. With winds of around 80 mph, it was strong enough to down trees and damage some homes. There were no reported injuries.
The second tornado tore a path across Medina County.
The tornado formed around 11:30 p.m. in Grafton in Lorain County and continued for some 11 miles through the city of Medina. It lasted about 10 minutes, had winds of 100 mph and was as wide as a football field.
One person was injured in the city of Medina, which appears to have suffered the brunt of the storm with scores of homes and businesses damaged south of the historic square by a confirmed tornado that uprooted trees and ripped some roofs off.
The injured man suffered a broken leg when a tree fell on top of his home and trapped him inside.
Tens of thousands of people across Northeast Ohio are dealing with power outages Wednesday morning after storms shook things up overnight.
As of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, FirstEnergy was reporting more than 30,000 customers without power across it’s Ohio coverage area, mostly in Northeast Ohio. That was down from more than 45,000 earlier in the day.
About 11,500 people were without power in Summit County at 4:00 p.m. In Medina County, just over 5,500 were without power. Outage figures for other area counties were: Wayne - nearly 1,600; Portage - about 1,500; and Stark - nearly 1,500.
Tom King, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Cleveland (NWS), said thunderstorms that developed over Michigan moved south and across the Northeast Ohio area. He said the storms started as individual, but developed into a line of thunderstorms hitting all of northern Ohio.
Winds reached 67 mph at Akron-Canton Airport just after midnight. Winds in Kent got up to 58 mph, and gusts hit 60 mph in Canton, according to the National Weather Service.
Residents are waking up to scenes like this in Medina. 60-70 MPH winds knocked these trees onto this home. A neighbor says the family is okay and staying with a friend.
The homes are right next to railroad tracks. One woman said “that was the loudest thing I’ve ever heard.” pic.twitter.com/uqm7oxU2sk
Hail and fallen trees were also reported throughout the area.
The City of Akron may have missed the brunt of it. Akron Fire Lt. Sierjie Lash said they had a few calls for trees down, including on Sommerset Road, Wiltshire Road, Portage Path and Kelly Avenue, but don’t have the major number they usually would with this kind of storm.
Also in Barberton they were dealing with wires down on a building that were on fire, trash everywhere as it seems to have been trash day and a tree on a house on Wisteria Drive that caused a gas leak . pic.twitter.com/VzmhRaESMO— Mike Vielhaber (@MVielhaber) April 8, 2020
“We had a lot of rain and thunder, but most of the winds, look like they kind of went around Akron,” Lash said.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is reporting that two major routes in Medina County are closed for debris.
U.S. Route 42 is closed in both directions between Columbia Road and Deerview Road, and state Route 94 is closed in both directions between Eastern Road and Wall Road.
Then I went to Green where I found Ohio Edison working on Greensburg Road at the Greensburg United Methodist Church. Two pines were uprooted and other trees had damage. Greensburg should be avoided from 241 to Arlington. pic.twitter.com/1TPktqLF5j— Mike Vielhaber (@MVielhaber) April 8, 2020
Crews are working to restore power to customers during a time that many are telecommuting from home for work and school due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There were also reports of a tornado in Brunswick. King said it has not been determined yet if a tornado touched down, but the weather service will investigate further.
Reach Akron Beacon Journal reporter Sean McDonnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3186.
Lot of tree debris on the roads all over Medina county. WATCH for and AVOID power lines. City crews are out for cleanup but have to wait for power company to de energize @WEWS pic.twitter.com/iOK3knSsxC— Dave Kraska (@DaveKraska) April 8, 2020