Heavy winds leave big impression on Salem

SALEM – High winds from storms early Monday and late Sunday showered downtown Salem with glass from blown out windows in several buildings and bricks and roof material from the Salem Community Theatre structure.

Other neighborhoods saw lots of downed trees, utility poles and power lines, including a stretch of Jennings Avenue between West Ninth Street and Rea Drive which remained closed this morning so crews could remove trees and repair the damage to power lines and poles.

South Lundy between East State and Sugartree Alley also remained closed to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic for workers to make temporary repairs to the building which houses the theatre and the Ice Cream Parlor at the corner of State and Lundy.

According to the Ohio Edison FirstEnergy website, a handful of residents in Columbiana County remained without power Monday night, including some in Salem, Salem Township, Butler Township, Columbiana and Fairfield Township.

Firefighters knew of no injuries, although there had been a report at 10:18 p.m. Sunday of a tree on top of a vehicle with two people trapped in the area of Tractor Supply. Emergency responders, including police, fire and EMT Ambulance searched the area along Continental Drive, Bentley, Lexington, East State, Butcher and Cunningham roads and never found the vehicle.

They also contacted St. Clair Township and Alliance police departments to check near the Tractor Supply stores in their communities for any vehicles with trees on top of them.

Workers spent most of Monday making temporary repairs to the SCT building roof, with a restoration company on hand Sunday night to stem the flow of water caused by the roof damage.

SCT board of directors president Dan Haueter said an insurance adjuster was scheduled to come today to survey the damage. A mason was also expected to work on stabilizing the bricking. The building includes five non-functioning chimneys and one of them came down during the storm, sending bricks to the street. The wind tore off the old section of roof and damaged a section of the new part of the roof.

Haueter said there was limited water damage to the third floor where costumes and props are housed and in the kitchen area on the first floor. He didn’t know of any damage to the stage area and said their latest production, “A Christmas Carol,” won’t be affected. The show opens Dec. 6.

Salem Fire Lt. Rod Hughes said there was no structural damage to the building. Parts of the roof ended up four buildings down, on the roof of the Sherwin Williams paint store and on the roof of the Dollar General building (former G.C. Murphy building) next door and across the street. Windows were blown out from the third floor of the former JC Penney building, the second floor of the Dollar General building and other buildings, such as the former Salem Sport Shop, which is currently being renovated.

Part of the scaffolding from the building was partially on the road, with firefighters and police moving the boards back to the sidewalk and the street department sweeping up the glass. A relative of the owner had others respond to take down the scaffolding.

A car had been located near the falling bricks on Lundy Avenue, but there was no apparent damage and the owner moved the vehicle.

On West State Street, a fence in a construction area on private property was overturned. On Continental Drive, several small trailers fastened together from Tractor Supply had been overturned and blown onto Continental Drive. A line was down on Fair Avenue and several limbs and trees were down on East State Street east of Union Avenue.

The fire department also responded to a power line down on North Ellsworth Avenue and damage on Rose Avenue.

On Monday morning, police were told by a woman that a pine tree behind her garage in the 300 block of Ash Street snapped, falling onto her garage, knocking her spouting down and breaking a window.

Perry Township also had a report of trees down on Painter Road, just west of Egypt Road, with the township road crew responding to remove multiple trees blocking the roadway. Police assisted with traffic control.