Tuesday’s storms hit the city hard with high winds and torrential downpours. The National Weather Bureau in Cleveland confirmed it brought a tornado with it.
Weather bureau officials were in Norwalk on Wednesday morning and early afternoon and gathered information to confirm the sightings and reports, said Art Mead, Huron County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director. The pictures and data taken by the bureau were labeled with GPS locations and compared with radars and maps to find out exactly what happened in Norwalk.
Mead said no injuries were reported from the storm. However, some significant damage could be seen throughout Huron County.
“There a lot of trees down and lot of little things here and little things there, but no injuries that I’m aware so far,” Mead said. “There’s a lot of damage we’re hearing about throughout the county. We’re asking that anyone with any damage contact (the EMA’s office).”
The Huron County EMA office can be reached at 419-663-5772.
The tornado is reported have have had “sustained winds of 100 mph,” Mead said, making it an EF-1-rated tornado. The rating is on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, a scale for the severity of a tornado. The bureau added that the twister was about 50 yards — or 180 feet — wide, and ran for about a mile and half.
According to the EF scale, and EF1 tornado is labeled as a “weak” storm, with the tornado’s winds ranging from 86 to 110 mph. There’s only one classification lower than that — an EF0, which has winds ranging from 65 to 85 mph.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said the tornado “briefly touched down” about 1.5 miles south of downtown Norwalk. It’s believed to have started near U.S. 20, about a half-mile west of U.S. 250, and moved northeast. The tornado ended near Veterans Memorial Lake Park.
The majority of the damage was confined to multiple large trees, the NWS also reported.
Originally it was considered a possibility that multiple funnel clouds or potential tornadoes may have been seen in Norwalk. However, Mead said it has been confirmed that only one funnel cloud formed over the city’s skies.
“I think we had multiple sightings of the same cloud,” he said. “People may have just been looking at the same cloud, but from different locations and directions and it might have looked it was in a different area. We believe there was only one.”
The last twister to have hit the Maple City was on Nov. 5, 2017.