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Wickliffe neighborhood hit hard with strong winds, roofs blown off, trees down

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Posted at 10:06 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 23:12:36-04

WICKLIFFE, Ohio — It was just a little after 4:00 p.m. Thursday when Joe Tushar heard the sound of wind picking up and noise unlike any he’s heard before.

He was inside his Wickliffe home.

“I heard the freight train sound. You can hear it. It’s a different kind of sound and it wasn’t a good sound. I looked outside and the transformer was sparking and a lot of debris was falling,” he said.

Tushar and his wife headed to their basement.

“It was over just about as soon as we got in the basement,” he said.

The rain and strong winds passed through the area in just a matter of moments, but the damage was extensive.

Tushar said his backyard was a mess, with wires down, his telephone pole snapped, and debris. But it wasn’t until he saw his neighbor’s house, that he realized he could’ve had it much worse.

“When I got outside, I looked, and I couldn’t believe what I saw,” he said.

His neighbor’s roof of her home was completely torn off and a tree had fallen on top of it.

“That was surreal,” he said.

According to Wickliffe Fire Chief Jim Powers, the woman who lived there wasn’t home at the time of the storm.

Powers said the homeowner was aware of the situation.

“I don’t think anybody could be good with something like this, but she understood and we will get her through it,” said Powers.

Powers said as soon as the storm passed through Wickliffe, city crews began cleaning up downed, live wires, debris, trees, and more. But he said the cul-de-sac off of Rush Road, where Tushar and his neighbors live, was the worst hit.

“It went for about a half of a mile. So, we saw a lot of wires down, branches down, but apparently, it just hit here,” he said.

Powers isn’t sure whether it was a microburst or a tornado. The National Weather Service confirmed to News 5 that it would be surveying Wickliffe Friday and determine what type of weather event it was.

David Derezic can attest to the few houses on the cul-de-sac getting hit the worst: he lives just three minutes from his great aunt and uncle who live in the cul-de-sac.

He said he didn’t hear or feel anything when the storm came through, but his family members called him in a panic.

“That’s why it was so weird when they called and said ‘tornado’ and we know how close they live and that’s why we were dumbfounded when we came up here,” said Derezic.

His family members have significant damage. A tree fell into the back of their home.

“We are just glad they’re ok,” he said. “They seem a little shaken up, but they’re going to stay at my parent’s house tonight.”

But despite all of the damage residents who spoke to News 5, feel a sense of gratitude for all of the help.

“I feel awful, but look how great the City of Wickliffe is, my gosh, they got it all cleaned up already,” said Tushar.