National Weather Service pinpoints Trumbull County tornado damage

The Weather Service said a very weak tornado touched down in Fowler on Thursday

The National Weather Service was at the center of the tornado damage in Trumbull County on Friday.
The National Weather Service was at the center of the tornado damage in Trumbull County on Friday.


FOWLER, Ohio (WKBN) – The National Weather Service has now classified Trumbull County’s tornado as EF1.

It had an estimated maximum wind speed of 90 miles per hour. The path had a maximum width of 250 yards and length of 1.25 miles.

No one was injured.

Meteorologists from the Weather Service were in Fowler Township on Friday, assessing damage from the tornado that touched down around 7 p.m. Thursday.

There wasn’t any significant damage out in the open but the agency left convinced that a tornado had, in fact, touched down.

The Weather Service said the very weak tornado took down some trees and power lines. It started along OH-193 and traveled to Sodom Hutchings Road, the Weather Service said.

A mobile home was shifted four inches off its base where the tornado started, and it sucked some of the insulation out of the home.

The agency’s meteorologists went to the township, taking a 4-wheeler to get them to where they could see trees snapped and uprooted in a path of damage.

Viewers sent WKBN their photos of the storm via Report It.

Nick Greenawalt said all the damage converged into a single point — the classic signature of a tornado touchdown.

The next step was determining how strong the winds had to be to do the damage.

“A lot of these trees, these root balls here, are very shallow in depth. It probably took a little less wind speed than normal to uproot these trees just because of the nature of the root ball and everything,” Greenawalt said.

Brett Starcher, who was watching the tornado as his mom recorded it, led the tour into the woods off of Route 305. He knew right where to take the meteorologists.

“We saw the funnel cloud and it just started building, and what it did is the debris just started floating up in the air and I knew it was a tornado because I had never seen nothing like that before.”

The Weather Service strives for lead time so people have time to take action based on its warnings. The goal is to try to get 15 minutes of lead time on the first touchdown. But last night, there wasn’t even a tornado watch.

“Because of the isolated nature of the storm, we didn’t need to issue a watch because the storms weren’t very consistent as far as being severe and producing damage,” Zach Sefcovic said.

Editor’s note: An initial version of this story said the tornado touched down in Hartford. The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down in Fowler, but it’s still assessing whether one hit Hartford.

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