Local Pictures
Classified Ads
 Announce Births
Email Us
Buy A Copy
Local Links

click here to
The Daily



08-27-03: Severe thunderstorm causes damage in area

High winds ripped through portions of Mercer and Auglaize counties Tuesday evening leaving a trail of downed trees and power lines throughout the city of St. Marys and surrounding areas.
No injuries were reported in the storm that brought tornado warnings to the Grand Lake St. Marys area between 6 and 7 p.m., causing officials to activate emergency sirens. Although most of the wind damage appeared to be minor, officials in northern Auglaize County reported various degrees of property damage to barns and a few homes in the area near the lake.
Mike Weadock, safety service director for the city of St. Marys, said he watched a neighbor’s tree fall while huddled in his basement with grandchildren.
“The storm took out a lot of trees in our community. We’ll be cleaning this up for days,” he added.
Weadock said one of the city’s police officers was near the U.S. 33/Ohio 29 intersection when the brunt of the storm hit.
“He said it rained so hard he couldn’t see the hood of his car,” Weadock said, adding the storm appeared to take a path along U.S. 33.
“Significant wind damage with winds exceeding 58 mph, and in some areas much higher, was recorded throughout the St. Marys and Celina areas,” said Sam McNeil, a meteorologist and program manager for the National Weather Service (NWS) in Wilmington.
The NWS has no indication a tornado passed through the local area, even though a tornado sighting was confirmed in Allen County south of Lima. Dime-size hail was reported near the Moulton area in Auglaize County and in Van Wert County earlier in the day.
St. Marys Police Chief Kerry Roode said dispatchers handled numerous calls from residents reporting property damage due to fallen trees.
“There were two reports of branches down on cars, but thankfully no one was injured,” he said.
Roode said there appeared to be no specific area of damage. “It was pretty much everywhere,” he added.
From 1 to 3 inches of rain fell throughout portions of the local area before dusk, although there were areas in both counties that received little or no rain all day.
Scattered power outages were reported in both Mercer and Auglaize counties keeping crews from St. Marys Utilities, Midwest Electric and Dayton Power & Light out most of the night. Nearly all homes and businesses had power restored at press time today, officials said.
Jerry Wolfe, electrical systems superintendent for the city of St. Marys, this morning said fallen branches accounted for most of the problems.
“About two-thirds of the city was out of power by 7 (p.m.),” Wolfe said. “We saw a lot of heavy branches lying on lines and taking them down.”
Wolfe said power was restored to the majority of customers after four hours. Additional line crews were called in from the villages of Minster and New Bremen.
The storm left several hundred Dayton Power & Light customers in the dark, but all electric was restored by early this morning, said spokesman Bryce Nickel. The area around the lake including St. Marys Township appeared to get hit the worst he added.
Jeff Severns, electrical superintendent for Celina Utilities, confirmed the Highland Park area experienced numerous branches down and lying on power lines. However, most city customers were without power for no more than 30 minutes, he said.
“Lightning hit two transformers on (U.S.) 127 North but it only affected a few dozen homes,” Severns added.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms is forecast for the area today and again Thursday through Sunday, the NWS reported.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822