Tornado warnings were issued across several areas in Northeast Ohio on Tuesday evening, and a little after midnight, a video surfaced on Twitter that appeared to show a twister touching down just north of Brunswick, the biggest city in Medina County.
While at first no funnel clouds were spotted in the dark and heavy storms, reporter Kelly Dobeck of Cleveland 19 News shared a video filmed by Jared Svoboda on April 7 that seemed to show that a tornado did touch down. Dobeck tweeted that the video was taken facing toward I-71 South.
Aaron Rigbsy of KKTV 11 News tweeted out a map confirming a twister touched down in Medina County. “Definitely a stout tube here. Right spot too since looking south out of Brunswick,” he said.
Areas that were under tornado warning watch on Tuesday evening included Lorain, Medina, Summit, Stark and Wayne counties. The storms reportedly produced wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour, according to the NWS radar, and caused large hail and heavy rainstorms in some areas. While there are reports of severe storm damage coming from Stark County, there have not been any reported injuries.
According to WKYC, FirstEnergy confirmed that over 64,000 people in Northeast Ohio reported being without power around 12:30 a.m. local time. By 1 a.m., the number of people reporting to be without power jumped to 90,000. Utility crews were dispatched to the areas for repairs.
The National Weather Service predicted the severe thunderstorm to go well through the morning, as reported by Cleveland.com. The NWS initially predicted that a tornado could hit near Wadsworth, which is located about seven miles southeast of Medina, at 11:45 p.m. local time. By 12:08 a.m., the storm moved southeast with winds moving at 45 miles per hour.
It will be difficult to know the extent of the damage until the sun rises in the morning. One local resident tweeted, “My office is in the Medina Square and it sounds like that area was hit the hardest by the tornado/storm. I hope everyone is safe out there.”
Users Online Shared Distress Over Dealing With Severe Weather & Tornados Amid Coronavirus
Being woken up in the middle of the night to tornado sirens is stressful enough, but for the residents of Medina County, having this happen during the pandemic spread of coronavirus was too much. With hail storms coming down, for many users online, this felt extremely apocalyptic.
One person tweeted, “RN Sitting in the dark in Ohio, no electricity or heat in a tornado. I don’t need this stress on top of a traitor Donald Trump & life-ending coronavirus. Am I blessed yet?”
Numerous people shared on Twitter they were seeking coverage in basements. One user online said there were uprooted trees in her area.
Users online also sent their thoughts and prayers to residents during these uncertain times. As of Tuesday, 167 people have died from coronavirus in Ohio, and 4,782 are confirmed to be infected. There a total of 417 people in intensive care and nearly 1,400 have been hospitalized for COVID-19 symptoms.