Severe storms blow through 6.11

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It’s easy to say that Morenci skirted another severe storm Sunday night, but don’t tell that to Virginia Gore. Her garage lies smashed under the trunk of a maple tree and inside the garage is her car.

Gore just feels lucky it wasn’t her under the tree, too. When she saw the stormy sky, she hurried outside to bring in laundry from the line and walked back into the house through her garage. She just got back in the house when the tree came down.

“I just made it out of the garage,” she said. “I thank God the kids weren’t hurt and I was the only one home.”

Gore was surprised how fast the storm seemed to move in, and without any warnings given.

Morenci’s assistant fire chief Brad Lonis learned about the severity of the storm from the emergency radio scanner.

“I started hearing Waldron and Hudson getting calls—several right in a row—and I went to the station,” Lonis said. “No sooner did I get there when we started getting calls.”

The Morenci Fire Department received seven calls, one after the other, for trees, limbs and wires down. Several calls were to Morenci homes, but the department also responded to a few rural locations, including Medina.

Damage was mostly limited to a small section of town—along East Chestnut Street between Summit and East Street North.

“That’s a little odd because it’s reminiscent of the storm we had in May 2000,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s climate observer for the National Weather Service. “That time the storm came through town about one block south. Damage was a lot more widespread that day, but the worst of it was in that same area near the old middle school.”

It was a different matter Monday night. Damage was widespread from a storm that moved into the area shortly before 7:30 p.m. Firefighters responded to several reports of fallen trees and limbs, and also fought a house fire that was presumably caused by a lightning strike.

Monday’s storm was different in one other respect: significant rainfall.

Isobar noted the two previous storms brought lots of wind, but didn’t deliver much in the way of rain.

“We had seven-hundredths of an inch Friday and the same amount Sunday,” he said. “We’ve had rain on five days of the first eight this month, but it’s totaled only .69.”

That changed Monday when 1.27 was measured.

There’s one bright side to Virginia Gore’s story. She quickly learned the value of good neighbors Sunday evening.

“I’ve never seen such wonderful neighbors,” she said.

Several people in the neighborhood quickly offered their support and assistance, and that was a comfort after the close call she experienced.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
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  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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