Wickliffe house destroyed after tornado tore off roof

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 10:24 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2021 at 9:33 AM EDT
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WICKLIFFE, Ohio (WOIO) - Two confirmed tornadoes touched down Thursday afternoon in Northeast Ohio, leaving devastating destruction in their wake. A tornado has not yet been confirmed in Wickliffe, but there was severe damage there.

As of Friday morning, the National Weather Service of Cleveland confirmed two tornadoes in the Youngstown and North Canton areas.

It’s possible additional tornadoes will be confirmed Friday by the National Weather Service in Cleveland; two survey teams are out investigating the damages.

[ Tornadoes leave path of destruction in several Northeast Ohio counties ]

Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Portage, Summit, Stark, Trumbull and Wayne counties were each under a tornado warning at some point yesterday.

But of all the impacted areas, one Wickliffe home on Briar Court experienced some of the worst damage.

Wickliffe Fire Chief Jim Powers said either a microburst or tornado came through the town around 5:45 p.m. The National Weather Service in Cleveland said it “was likely a tornado.”

Chief Powers confirmed no one was home at the time it was destroyed.

With the roof gone and nearly $220,000 in damage to the home, the chief said he has never seen anything like it.

The chief said the roof blew onto the next street over.

Tornadoes leave path of destruction in several Northeast Ohio counties
Tornadoes leave path of destruction in several Northeast Ohio counties(WOIO)

Yanko Vraearic was watching TV when suddenly he heard what sounded like bombs going off.

“I wanna hear some noise, and I get up from my couch I watch TV,” said Vraearic. “Look in the window outside I see like a wheel-like swirling around and somebody shoot like a bombing you know, and I go in the basement.”

His next-door neighbor’s home was destroyed. The possible tornado ripped off the roof and blew pieces of it blocks away.

Vreaeric said thankfully his neighbors weren’t home at the time.

“Police come in and they go to the door I say. ‘Nobody here!’ ‘Nobody? Are you sure?’ ‘Yeah, I’m sure nobody here.’”

While his house fared well compared to his neighbor’s, he didn’t come out completely unscathed.

“I got a tree maybe 40 feet long,” Vraeric said. “I got everything on the roof.”

Vraeric’s great-nephew says he’s just grateful his family is okay.

“I mean that house could’ve been my great aunt and uncle’s house so I’m really grateful that they’re okay,” said David Derezic. “It’s funny because they’re always outside cutting the grass doing stuff around the house and if it wasn’t raining any the time, they probably would’ve been outside doing something so I’m glad that they got lucky.”

“Sure, I’m lucky,” Vraeric admitted. “I’m lucky, maybe I’m gonna be almost dying!”

According to Chief Powers, those displaced residents will stay with family.

Despite that house’s roof being ripped to shreds, Powers said this was a “very isolated” situation.

The rest of the town just experienced little damage, primarily downed trees and wires, according to Powers.

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