Tornado, storms hit Ohio

A tornado measuring F1 on the Fujita scale struck Youngstown, Ohio.

BY TRAVIS DUNN | YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio | July 22, 2003

A tornado measuring F1 on the Fujita scale struck Youngstown, Ohio, as severe storms Monday dumped rain across the state and into western Pennsylvania, causing flash floods and whipping up damaging straight-line winds, according to Will Kubina, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Cleveland.

The twister destroyed a car tire dealership and damaged at least seven other businesses and 40 homes, said Ed Brannon, a volunteer with the Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency.

In addition, powerful downbursts tore apart a trailer park in Liberty Township, a northern suburb of Youngstown, said Becky Whitman, office administrator for the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency. Four mobile homes there incurred severe damage, and more homes incurred lesser damage, she said.

While flooding was intermittent in Mahoning County, Whitman said flooding was widespread in Trumball County on Monday.

"Flooding is the main problem here," she said. "It's all over the county."

An unknown number of people had to be evacuated Monday night, and the American Red Cross set up two shelters north of Youngstown in Trumbull County, one at Liberty High School and another at the Holland Township administrative offices, Whitman said.

A Salvation Army canteen was feeding relief workers at the tornado site in Youngstown.

Flooding was also blamed for the death of two people - a ten-year-old boy who was sucked into a storm drain in Trumbull County, and another person in Crawford County, Penn., according to NWS meteorologist Kubina.

A total of 4.65 inches of rain was recorded at the Youngstown airport Monday, said Kubina, and Cayoga, Portage and Summit counties in Ohio also reported river flooding.

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