COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Strong thunderstorms and possible tornadoes carved a path of destruction through central Ohio Wednesday evening, leaving hundreds without power for hours and toppling trees across the region.
As of 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, all watches and warnings have expired for central Ohio.
South Central Power reported approximately 5,500 customers without power in Fairfield County as of 11:10 p.m. Wednesday, but by 5:30 a.m. Thursday, power had been restored to about 3,400 customers. The company does not have an estimate as to when power will be restored.
AEP is reporting nearly 2,800 are without power in the Athens County area as of 5:30 a.m. Thursday. The company is assessing the damage and has not posted an estimated restoration time.
A Meijer distribution facility in Tipp City, Miami County, was severely damaged during the storms. It has not yet been determined if the building was hit by a tornado, although one was reported to have touched down nearby.
Viewer Elliott Fisher shared these photos and video of a funnel cloud in Marengo, Morrow County, just after 8 p.m.
A large and extremely dangerous tornado was located in thunderstorms over Hocking Hills State Park at approximately 7:34 p.m. Wednesday.
The severe weather moved into central Ohio from the west. Click here to see photos and video of storm damage from Miami County.
NBC4’s Matt Barnes sent in the photos below of trees taking out power lines along Kauffman Road in Carroll.
Emergency crews had a portion of US-33 closed between Coonpath Road and Election House Road south of Carroll and north of Lancaster in Fairfield County due to downed trees.
The Hocking County Emergency Management Agency reported as of 8:05 p.m. that there were some trees down on SR-56 about 10 miles south of Logan, but reported no funnel clouds or tornadoes. Also, a portion of SR-664 north of Logan in Hocking County is closed due to downed trees.
Tornado sirens activated in Delaware County early in the evening Wednesday.
“The sirens were activated when the initial tornado warning was issued by the National Weather Service,” said Sean Miller, the director of the Delaware County Emergency Management Agency, which was monitoring the storms all day.
After alerting the public through wireless emergency alerts, Miller said the agency was fortunate to be able to drop the tornado warning early in the evening.
“While the severe threat has largely passed us for today in Delaware County, now is an opportune time to think about the next round of storms,” he said.
Miller said the damage storms can cause should not be taken lightly and recommends homeowners have a plan to find shelter as quickly as possible.
“So identify those places before severe weather strikes so you can implement that plan quickly if you need to,” he said.
Miller said there were no reports of damage to homes in Delaware County, and the county sheriff’s office said it hasn’t received any reports of injuries or damage.