Severe storms, high winds sweep across county –
By Patricia Beech –
March roared in like a lion across southern Ohio Wednesday morning bringing tornado activity, rain, hail, and strong winds that damaged property, uprooted trees, and downed electrical lines, leaving thousands without power.
While there was no loss of life or serious injuries reported, damage was widespread as the storm traveled from west to east across Brown, Adams, Highland, Scioto, and Clinton counties.
The most significant damage in Adams County occurred near West Union along Route 247, Unity Road, and Logans Lane, resulting in the Adams County Sheriff’s Office warning residents away from those areas.
Straight-line winds are suspected of destroying three barns at the Byron and Dawn Brodt farm on the corner of Rte. 247 and Unity Road, including one built in 1856.
Brodt said she heard nothing out of the ordinary as the storm passed over their home.
“When the storm went through we were sitting in the family room watching the hail and wind and rain, then the electricity went out and it was over,” said Dawn. “Then my daughter called me and said get to the farm, everything is gone, and it was – the barns, fencing, corrals were all destroyed.”
Straight-line winds also destroyed a large barn on Unity Road at the residence of Linda and Randy Louiso and downed a grove of cedar trees on Logans Lane.
In Peebles strong winds on Steam Furnace Road ripped a portion of roofing from the Evergreen Baptist Church, tore large limbs from trees and scattered debris across a mile-long area.
Several residents in the Steam Furnace community reported hearing an unusually loud noise as the storm swept through the area.
“It was an incredible sound, a one-of-a-kind sound, like a very close train.” said Jeanmarie Decker, who lives in the Steam Furnace community. “I’ve seen a lot of storms come through here, but nothing like that.”
In the southern portion of the county flooding and bus safety concerns led to the closing of the Manchester School District for the day.
High winds in the village of Higginsport in western Brown County ripped away several roofs, damaging the Church of Christ, the local bank, and several private residences. The loss of power caused the Ripley and Georgetown School Districts to dismiss school early. Reports also surfaced of a possible tornado touch down near Leesburg in Highland County.