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Winds Topple Trees

August 8, 2011

Staff photo/Mike Burkholder: A tree sits on top of a garage behind 426 Huffman St. in St. Marys.

ST. MARYS — A storm system that blew through the region Sunday downed trees, power lines and a garage.

Auglaize County EMA Director Troy Anderson said the powerful storm packed winds of up to 48 mph and moved through the city shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday. The winds knocked down several trees throughout the city, including one that fell onto a garage and knocked down power lines.

“We had a pretty good-sized front that came through from the northwest, moving southeast through the city,” Anderson told The Evening Leader this morning. “We had a nice wall cloud, which does produce a funnel or tornado.”

A tree was upended and collapsed a garage behind 426 Huffman St. Anderson said several residents in the area reported seeing a brown, rotating air mass in the air.

“They said it was short lived and lasted only a few seconds,” Anderson said. “What they were describing was rotating and wasn’t on the ground going over the area.”

Anderson said evidence of downed limbs and wind speeds indicate some rotation was possible with the storm. However, he noted he does not have anything definitive to rule it a tornado.

“I am getting pictures in but haven’t been able to see anything,” Anderson said, noting he did not receive any reports of injuries associated with the storm.

With fall around the corner, Anderson cautioned residents to pay attention to weather reports and forecasts. Fall is typically the busiest season for severe weather.

“We are starting to get into the fall season and we are looking at it to be a very active fall season,” Anderson said. “That’s usually our heaviest time. We had the tornado in October. It’s time to stay alert and we will go from there.”

Mike Dieringer, electric distribution superintendent, said the tree on Huffman and Oliver streets downed a power line. Dieringer said most residents had power by 6:10 p.m. and service was fully restored by 7:50 p.m.

“The tree fell over onto a pole and then we had to remove the tree from everything, clearing all the phone wires,” Dieringer told The Evening Leader. “Then we were able to straighten the pole, brace it up and that’s when we got the first people back on. And then we had to splice wires to get everyone else back on.”
 

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