High Winds Knock Out Power For Thousands

RAVENNA, Ohio (AP) - Storms swept through parts of Portage County on Wednesday afternoon, knocking down trees and power lines.

Approximately 25,000 homes were without power at the peak of the storm, Ohio Edison said. That number was reduced to about 9,000 by Wednesday evening and to about 3,000 by late Thursday morning.

Winds in excess of 67 mph caused damage that was concentrated in Ravenna, Ravenna Township and Rootstown Township, said Margaret Garmon of the Portage County Local Emergency Planning Committee.

Ohio Edison spokesman Dennis Prough said that the high winds knocked down dozens of utility poles along State Route 619.

Both the city and Portage County declared a state of emergency

as Ohio Edison crew worked to restore power.

There were no serious injuries, Garmon said. A man was treated

at a local hospital after a tree fell on his mobile home in Ravenna

Ravenna police Det

Greg Francis said the storm came
through the area at about 4:40 p.m. and lasted 10 to 15 minutes.

The National Weather Service said that it looks like a microburst was to blame for most of the damage. Investigators were checking out reports of a possible tornado but said that weather spotters didn't see any funnel clouds.

The Red Cross set up an emergency shelter at a Ravenna middle


Ravenna is a

15 miles northeast of Akron.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)