Ohio Storms Kill 2, Injure Dozens

Two semi-tractor trailers lie on their sides Thursday, June 22, 2006, in the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Lima, Ohio, after a storm with high winds and hail passed through the area. AP

Two days of severe storms injured dozens of people in Ohio and killed at least two, a teenage boy who was camping when a tree crashed into his tent and a firefighter who tried to rescue two teenagers from rising floodwaters.

The storms left thousands of people without power Friday morning, and flood and storm watches remained in effect across northern Ohio for the third day.

Near the village of Wellington, about 40 miles southwest of Cleveland, Al Anderson Jr., 47, drowned Thursday as he tried to reach the teens, whose Jeep had gotten stuck, authorities said. The teens were rescued by boat.

The boy killed in the tent had been camping Thursday in an area southwest of Canton when the storm hit, according to Brewster Fire Chief Dale Starcher and Dunlap Hospital in Orrville. Another boy with him was hospitalized with head injuries, authorities said.

In southeastern Ohio, nine people, including seven law enforcement officers, were injured in Logan Thursday when lightning struck a shelter during a charity run, according to the State Highway Patrol. One officer was in intensive care with critical injuries, according to the patrol and Ohio Special Olympics, the race organizer.

More than a dozen other people statewide were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, including two families sickened by fumes from generators they were using to remove water from their basements, Rossford Fire Chief Jim Verbosky said.

The storms wrecked havoc across the upper Midwest starting Wednesday, with tornadoes in Michigan and Ohio and street flooding in Indiana, Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

"It just looks like someone came through with a shovel and scrapped the shingles off about half the houses out here," Karen Bingham said as she cleared debris from her lawn in Lima.

Lima's hospitals reported 17 injuries, 13 of them from traffic accidents.

Powerful wind gusts as high as 80 mph also split mobile homes at a trailer park in Brewster and flipped small planes on the tarmac at the Allen County Airport in northeast Ohio.

Norwalk, about halfway between Cleveland and Toledo, was one of the hardest-hit areas. Seven inches of rain sent the city's reservoir spilling over its banks, cutting the city in two. Mayor Sue Lesch called the flooding the worst since a dam break in 1969.
  • Clarissa Striker

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