Woman Trapped in Barn After Wild Winds

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SULLIVAN, OH -- A fierce windstorm tore through Northeast Ohio early Sunday morning.

People in the Ashland County town of Sullivan woke up to find substantial damage. Bill Sommerville said it gets windy because of so much open space, but something seemed different about these winds.

"Just sounded like a freight train coming through. You could just feel the vacuum. Felt like it was going to rip the house right off the foundation,” he said.

His neighbor across the street described the storm the same way.

Connie Harris lives in a home that has an attached garage and barn for her horses. Her son, T.J. Stover, described how the strong winds literally moved the steel roof several feet.

“It tried to take the roof off and basically slammed it right back down again -- several feet off.  So, that's basically what happened, the wind just grabbed it and tried to take off with it," he said.

Harris went to check on the horses when she almost got blown away.

"Then it all happened. She said something tried to suck her out of the garage.  She grabbed the tractor in there and held on for dear life through the whole thing,” Stover said.

Somehow, his mom was not hit by any flying debris, but she was trapped inside the barn until the volunteer firefighters came to her rescue.

“There have been winds – hefty, wild and whistling, but nothing like this,” Stover added.

Sections of the roof peeled off and damaged a truck and even made a sizeable dent in a steel trailer. The family is seeing what can be salvaged.

Harris will have to find another place to live; her home is not structurally safe, and the horses will be boarded elsewhere.

Stover said while looking at all the damage, he is amazed that no one and no animals were hurt.

“It could have been much worse, honestly,” he added.

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