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Storm leaves trail of damage in its wake

By Joe Centers • Updated Nov 6, 2017 at 11:14 PM

It looked like a war zone, but Roger Welsh was able to keep his sense of humor.

“Anybody who wants fire wood is free to come and get it,” he said with a chuckle.

Roger and Mary Welsh live in a beautiful house at 1700 N. Ridge Road, just south of Hasbrock Road.

Their house sits down from the road and is surrounded by beautiful trees.

That was until Sunday’s storm that ripped through the county just after 5 p.m.

“We went to the basement and it was quiet,” Roger said. “We came up and saw a limb down. Then we looked out and said, ‘Oh my God.’”

It didn’t take long. “It was over at 5:22,” Mary said as she looked at a message sent on her phone.

One after another the trees were down. 

How many trees?

“At least 100,” Roger said. “It was thick through there. I think the trees saved the house. They caught the wind.”

The Welshs lost a few shingles on the house and a lamppost.

And it wasn’t just them on Ridge Road.

“The road was closed last night,” Roger said. “There were several trees down just the other side of the bridge.”

Roger said they have lived in the house for 35 years and “nothing like this has happened before. We lost a few trees.”

Farther south in the county, Dale Smith was looking at the damage to his grain bins on Ohio 162, just west of Peru Center Road and Steuben.

The road was closed as the utility poles were almost blown over.

“We think the tornado came across this field,” Smith said. “You can see the path in the corn. It came and banged in the side of these two huge bins, went across and hit my neighbors and knocked off these poles. You can see the poles. ... It just laid them over.”

The storm knocked a semi trailer over and “totally destroyed two bins” full of grain. 

“The smaller ones on that side we think are salvageable and the elevators. too,” Smith said.

“What’s funny is it didn’t pick any chemical jugs off this trailer. They are setting there yet they banged off these bins. We’ve had wind out there but never a tornado.

“It lasted four minutes. I live two miles from here and I could hear it.

“I’m going to have to take the grain out this fall and just get by without them for now.”

The damage is done now comes the clean-up, not just for these two families, but for families all over the county.

Chalk another one up for Mother Nature.

Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at [email protected]

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