Tornado Confirmed in Trumbull County Storms
GIRARD, Ohio — Fox 8 meteorologist Andre Bernier confirms an EF-0 tornado touched down in Girard, Ohio Sunday afternoon.
The storm gained speeds of 70 mph, measured 25 yards wide and traveled three miles before dissipating.
Residents in Girard quickly realized the severity of the storm and used cameras to track it.
Chris Marshall, 14, grabbed his iPhone and began recording while at a nearby park, Roger Banyots attended a picnic and concluded the funnel cloud may become a tornado.
“The next thing I know, I hear like a whooshing sound, like a lot of water, and I said, That doesn’t sound right, so I stepped outside the pavilion down there and I turned back to my family and said, ‘Run.’ They thought I was joking, and the next thing you know, it was right on top of us,” said Banyots.
As the twister began to hopscotch down Park Avenue in Girard, Vince Yyurcho, 16, recorded the storm on his phone, as well, as he and friend Giovanni Naples were on their way to an indoor driving range.
“I kept getting these messages from my mom that there were tornado warnings. I look up in the sky; we just see like smoke but it really wasn’t smoke; I had the worst feeling, I knew it was a tornado,” said Naples.
Meanwhile, back at the park, Roger Banyots decided this was no ordinary storm and called 911. Banyots says he realized most residents in the surrounding area would have no other warning.
“I felt like I was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Everything was flying by and I’m going, ‘I’m in a tornado,’ and I’m yelling, ‘I’m in a tornado at Todd Park, I think it’s heading for Liberty or Hubbard, someone do something,’ ” said Banyots.
It turns out the tornado cut a swath through neighborhoods along Park Avenue, downing trees and power lines. As many as 50 homes were damaged. Residents were amazed by the random fury of the small twister.
“Kind of just hopped, fortunately, over our house, if it would have stayed down any longer, our house would have been gone,” said Sheryl Wirth.
The storm took the city’s mayor by surprise, as well.
“We’re always surprised when Mother Nature acts this way because when you look around, there’s not a wide amount of damage, it just followed a street, said Mayor Jim Melfi.
Residents say now that the scare is over, they’re glad to be safe despite the damage.
“I’m just glad no one got hurt, I’m glad everybody’s safe and everything can be repaired,” said Naples.
“We could have lost the whole house and everybody in it, so I’m just thankful,” added Wirth.
Take a look at viewer submitted storm footage in Girard, Ohio:
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