Tornado hits close to home

By Geren Lewis

For junior Katie Scale, the EF-2 tornado that hit Wooster Thursday night hit a little too close to home.

Scale was driving home when it started to thunderstorm a little after 5 p.m. and she tried to hurry to her house.

“About a mile away from my house I noticed a lot of wind, and all of a sudden I saw the tornado about a fourth of a mile away from my car, to the left,” Scale said.

She was worried about being blown off the road by the force of the wind, but she kept going. Scale was travelling at 80 mph in a 45 mph zone, trying to outrun the storm. The winds and rain had stopped soon after she saw the tornado and she thought she was safe.

Once she got to her street she discovered that it was blocked.

“There was no way I could get to my house because of fallen trees blocking every road,” Scale said.

After parking her car in a nearby parking lot and walking home, she found broken tree limbs, cables down, and windows shattered in the homes in her neighborhood.

Scale is not the only Ashland University student who was affected by the tornado in Wooster.

Since the tornado hit around 5:30 p.m., most commuter students who live in the area were already home and did not experience driving through the storm.

Junior Whitney Martin had already travelled home and missed the storm, but she was at work in Wooster when the tornado touched down.

“I was at work at Coccia House and the power was flickering on and off for around half an hour,” Martin said.

Other students on campus who are from Wooster were worried when they heard about the tornado warning.

Freshman Marisa Carafelli was in her dorm watching the news. As soon as she heard about the damage to the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), she text messaged her mom to make sure everything at home was okay.

“I know it affected where we had our prom last year,” Carafelli said. “I have been going to the OARDC since I was little so to have part of that destroyed is pretty monumental.”

According to The National Weather Service, the tornado left a 12-mile path of destruction expanding over 2,000 yards. The OARDC and the ATI (Agriculture Technical Institute) branch of The Ohio State University campus were left in ruins. The damage is still being assessed for the campus and surrounding buildings. Even though the damage left by the tornado was immense, there were no deaths or major injuries reported.