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January tornado leaves trail of damage through Trumbull County

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No one was hurt in Tuesday’s tornado but many saw it, as well as the damage it left behind.

According to the National Weather Service, the EF-1 tornado touched down at 10:25 a.m. in Trumbull County, with estimated peak winds between 95 and 100 miles an hour. It was on the ground for 4.5 miles and had a maximum width of 75 yards.

There’s a mangled pile of debris — 2x4s, siding and insulation — a few miles west of Mosquito Lake in Champion. Until Tuesday morning, it was a garage that stood on cinder blocks.

“The tornado sirens hadn’t gone off yet, so I didn’t even know what was going on,” said Emily Metheny, who watched from a nearby window as her grandmother’s garage was destroyed.

It was quite a sight.

“The entire garage was uprooted from its base and just put into the backyard. It was floating in the air,” Metheny said.

Three miles away on a dock leading out into Mosquito Lake, Aaron Chine was among those who spent the morning fishing.

“Just doing a little extreme tornado crappie fishing,” he said.

When the tornado showed up, Chine dropped his pole and took a picture.

‘”Once it got right above this treeline here, it just turned into a big spout and…started twirling, and everybody started freaking out and sirens started going off. We started taking pictures,” he said.

There was also some damage in Cortland. The garage door of a house was damaged and chainsaws had to be used to remove some large tree limbs.

“As soon as we walked outside, we looked up and we could see it drop from the sky, cross over top of our office — which is right back here — and then it hit this house, went across the street and then disappeared,” Keith Chandler said.

At 4:30 p.m., remnants of the hail storm could be seen among the landscaping on S. High Street and there was, once again, lightning in the sky around Cortland as the front of cold air moved in.

A few homes in Bazetta Township were also damaged, as the winds brought down trees and power lines.

It was only the seventh January tornado ever recorded in the state of Ohio.

There was also a tornado warning up for the Greenville area of Mercer County on Tuesday, which was the first January tornado warning issued by the Pittsburgh National Weather Service office since 1986, at least.

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