COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A line of strong storms pounded southern portions of Franklin County Monday evening during rush hour, expanding east across southern Licking, Muskingum and Guernsey counties along a prefrontal weather boundary.
The slow-moving multicell storm clusters dumped 2.80 inches of rain on parts of Grove City, swamping roads. Powerful localized downburst winds drawn to the ground by water loading on a muggy 90-degree afternoon. Eight power poles were toppled near Gantz Road.
Grove City residents reported high water and a few downed trees that impeded travel during the height of the storm, before cleanup started. Tree damage and flooding was reported near Hoover and Stringtown Roads. More than a thousand customers were without power as late as Tuesday morning.
The wind damage was caused by a succession of downbursts beginning shortly before 6 p.m. in Grove City and southwestern Franklin County. As the heaviest cores migrated across southern Licking County south of I-70, additional pockets of damage were reported.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington listed the destruction of an outbuilding near Palmer Road and a damaged billboard four miles northeast of Pickerington, along with fallen trees. Trees were also felled by wind gusts farther east three miles south of Fallsburg. A tree landed on an unoccupied car south of Harbor Hills near Buckeye Lake, and trees landed on a roadway a mile north.
Power has since been restored to the affected areas, according to American Electric Power spokesperson Jessica Wright. “We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding during a time that was hot. We appreciate their support while our crews worked safely to restore their power,” said Wright.
A cold front crossed the state early Tuesday, lowering the humidity after a four warm and muggy days, with highs topping out at 92 and 93 degrees Sunday and Monday in Columbus. The average high temperature of 90.6 degrees during the first 28 days of July yielded a monthly mean of 79.6 degrees–the eighth hottest on record so far.
The high temperature in Columbus is expected to reach 90 degrees Wednesday afternoon, which would be the 20th time this month. The record for 90-degree days in the city for a single month is 22 in 2012.
A cold front will move south on Thursday, with isolated storms, bringing slightly cooler air for the remainder of the month. Highs will be in the low to mid-80s Friday through early next week.