GNADENHUTTEN, Ohio (WJW) — Cleanup is underway following powerful winds that pushed through the village of Gnadenhutten overnight. The village of less than two thousand saw topples trees and damaged power lines, leaving several homes with significant damage but with no reports of serious injuries.
At one home on East Grove Avenue, Beverly Pearch said she and her husband were sleeping when their children came into their bedroom and woke them afraid of the storm outside.
“They weren’t in there five seconds and the whole roof collapsed down on top of us and my oldest son was in the basement. He heard it and came running up but he couldn’t get to us because we were stuck in that back room, so we busted through the back window and jumped out and got the kids out,” said Pearch.
On Larson Street, numerous trees are snapped 20-30 feet off the ground in a line that stretches east to west.
Security video from Millwood Lumber shows lightning and then at 12:30 a.m. lots of wind and heavy rain blowing sideways. Several roofs were blown from buildings on the property.
Tori Glazer said she was awakened by her dog nudging her moments before a tree fell onto their home.
“It was like lightning and thundering, so I just looked out our window out here and I could see like clouds from this side and clouds from this side come together and start to swirl,” said Glazer.
Some limbs have fallen on cars. Heck’s Grove Park, a neighborhood park, is blanketed in fallen trees.
Village fire chief Steve Wright says dispatchers started getting calls after 12:30 a.m. and started prioritizing those that dealt with immediate health and safety concerns.
“We do have some roof damage. We have a few homes that sustained structural damage from wind but mostly trees that fell off them. A few of the homes are uninhabitable at this point. We are just encouraging those folks to call insurance and helping them in any way that we can,” said Wright.
Tuscarawas County Emergency Management Director Alex McCarthy tells Fox 8 News that he has surveyed damage in a line between Stone Creek through Gnadenhutten and based on his observations, the radar signature at the time, and conversations with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh they have determined that the damage is more constant with straight line winds than it is with a tornado.