What appeared to be a normal storm tore through East Canton, leaving only damage behind. (Source: WOIO)
Big trees were split in half. (Source: WOIO)
When the walls of their barn caved in, the Gillis' vehicle got smashed. (Source: WOIO)
EAST CANTON, OH (WOIO) -
It appeared to be a normal summer thunderstorm rolling into East Canton. But in an instant, the wind was fast and furious, sending residents scrambling for their basements.
The damage was intense. Some big trees were lifted right out of the ground. Other trees were snapped in two.
Mark Stolicney's daughter was home when a huge pine came crashing down on the house.
"They were down in the basement because they heard something. It just blew through and they stayed in the basement until they felt they were safe," he said.
Ray and Andrea Gillis' home sits up on a hill. They've seen plenty of storms and high winds come whipping through the area, but during one moment, they knew this was different.
"I went upstairs to close the bedroom windows and it blew them out of their frames, as I was trying to shut them. At that point, I yelled for my wife to go downstairs to the basement," Ray Gillis said.
Their log home stood strong, but their barn was blown apart. Pieces of roof were thrown around their property and the walls of the barn caved in, smashing their vehicle. Their tools were scattered everywhere and the wicked winds even uprooted most of the trees in their fruit orchard.
"It happened so fast, we didn't have time to be scared. We didn't realize what had happened until we came back up," Andrea Gillis said.