The National Weather Service has determined that Thursday night’s storm that tore through Stark County included two tornadoes.
The storm knocked down and uprooted trees, resulting in power outages to hundreds of homes and businesses overnight and closing a couple of schools on Friday.
Both tornadoes were labeled EF-0. The rating is the weakest or lowest on the Enhanced Fujita scale, the method used to measure the strength of a storm.
Brian Mitchell, meteorologist for the weather service’s Cleveland office, said one of the tornadoes started in Navarre and ended in eastern Perry Township.
“It was about 25 to 50 yards wide and the path was only about 4 miles,” Mitchell said, “so it didn’t cover a lot of ground. But it certainly did a little bit of damage where it did go through.”
“We are not aware of any injuries. [There was] mostly tree damage and uprooted trees,” he said, adding that a few homes sustained structural damage.
If the tornado had blasted just 6 mph stronger, the storm would have been labeled an EF-1, according to the weather service website.
Late Friday, the Weather Service ruled that the second tornado Thursday had touched down in Nimishillen Township.
That tornado was on the ground for 1.6 miles and carved a path that was up to 100 yards wide.
The 83-mph twister touched down briefly at 8:23 p.m. near Easton Street NE between Bentler and Pilot Knob avenues NE.
The tornado damaged a silo and barn roof on Bentler Avenue NE, then uprooted or snapped numerous trees along Easton Street NE and Pilot Knob Avenue NE with some trees falling on power lines.
It also collapsed a gazebo, cracked the foundation of a garage and damaged doors on the north and east sides of a barn and garage. A metal roof was torn off on a portion of a barn and several homes had minor structural damage, such as missing shingles and siding, according to the weather service.
They were the first confirmed tornadoes of the year for Stark County.
Tim Warstler, director of the Stark County Emergency Management Agency, said weather service officials traveled to Stark County on Friday, “because the radar was indicating some rotation.”
Warstler said trees were downed on 14th Street SW and around 13th Street in Perry Township. There were also trees knocked down behind Mercy Medical Center in Canton and pockets of trees and lines were downed in Alliance near Glamorgan Castle.
Brett Schmied, spokesman for American Electric Power Co., said Friday morning that 1,630 customers in the Canton area and 68 more outages scattered throughout the area remained without electricity. He estimated restoration at 6 p.m., adding, “We’re hoping that we get everybody back on today.”
Mark Durbin, spokesman for Ohio Edison, said a short time later that 2,500 customers across Stark County lost electrical power Thursday night, but by Friday morning, only 150 homes and businesses remained powerless. The outages were scattered throughout the county, and Durbin expected restoration by 6 p.m.
Alliance schools and Compton Learning Center in Canton closed because of power outages.