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The National Weather Service said on Wednesday that a tornado did not touch down during strong storms in East Liverpool that caused widespread damage.
NWS inspectors in the area Wednesday said the damage was caused by a downburst— which means strong winds that were pushed down towards the ground, instead of a rotating tornado.
The downburst was about one-mile wide, inspectors said, and had winds less than 90 miles per hour.
Jay Mattern lives on Cheval Avenue and told the NWS Field Team from Pittsburgh he was just getting ready for dinner when the storm hit.
“The wind started picking up. The hail started coming down. The trees started spinning and falling all over the place,” Mattern said. “It was pretty intense and fast. It was like no warning. All of a sudden it was here.”
Ronald Keener on Park Boulevard East gave a similar account of the storm.
“It just come real fast. It just come through and in about 10 minutes it was all over. It was just a mess afterward,” said Keener.
Two tornado warnings were issued for Columbiana County before the storms hit at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Trees were snapped and uprooted by the high winds and the southbound lanes of state Route 11 near the Calcutta exit were closed because of trees on the road.
A tree also landed on a truck, hospitalizing one woman.
The damage in the wake of the storm is what helped the field team determine exactly what weather event caused all the damage.
“Debris, trees coming together in a pattern or separating in a pattern. What we saw today was a divergent pattern to the wind, which means the trees were fanning out as we surveyed the area,” said NWS Field Team Investigator Matthew Kramer.
The NWS did confirm that an E-F0 tornado touched down Tuesday in extreme northeast Carroll County and ended near Five Forks Road in Franklin Township, Columbiana County.
A tornado touched down in North Beaver Township this year, and two others touched down in Erie County.