Village assesses damage after storm blows through

LISBON – The sound of chainsaws reverberated through Lisbon Wednesday evening as residents cleaned up after a severe thunderstorm swept through the Lisbon area about 5 p.m.

Making up in fury what it lacked in duration, the 10-to-15 minute storm packed high winds, lightning and hail, leaving a path of downed trees, limbs and power lines that left the village without electricity and crews working until dark to untangle the mess.

A tree uprooted in the alley between West Lincoln Way and West Washington Street brought up the gas line with it, causing a minor break in the line. The area was cordoned off by the fire department and three homes were evacuated. A Columbia Gas repair crew arrived by 6:30 p.m.

Lisbon resident Mike Chidester sustained severe damage to his house on 300 W. Washington St. when an old maple tree came down on the back of his house, splitting off his kitchen from the rest of the structure.

“This house has been here since 1895, and the tree has been here at least that long,” Chidester said. “We were a little worried about it because the ground was really soft with all the rain we had this spring.”

Chidester’s 11-year-old daughter Julina was in the front of the house at the time and witnessed the tree falling.

“I heard a really loud crack in the backyard,” she said. “I looked out and saw a big flash and saw the tree coming down.”

Chidester was driving in his truck on Beaver Street in Lisbon during the storm when he got a call from his daugher saying the tree was down

“She didn’t listen to me and get in the basement,” Chidester said. “Thank god she was in the front of the house.”

Mary Bowser of 122 Sherman St. was huddled with her family in their kitchen when their house was hit by a large tree on the neighboring property, causing the home to lean forward off its foundation.

Columbiana County Emergency Management Agency Director Luke Newbold said the storm appeared to have struck the Lisbon area the hardest but it did not appear to be the result of a tornado, according to officials at the Pittsburgh office of the National Weather Service.

“There was no rotation detected on radar and they said it looked like a straight-line wind,” Newbold said, adding he will know more tomorrow after NWS officials arrive to assess the damage.

Jerri Smith of Lisbon was driving on North Market street in Lisbon when the hood of her Jeep Patriot was struck by the portion of a tree.

“I heard a lot of cracking and saw a bunch of branches falling,” Smith said. All of a sudden part of a tree fell on the front. I waited out he rest of the storm in my car and just prayed nothing larger was going to fall.”

Marcus Nenichka, a 15-year-old Lisbon High School student was struck by lightning at his home on 8083 State Route 45.

Newbold was not aware of any other injuries resulting from the storm, and he said the local Red Cross was placed on standby in case they needed to open a shelter for anyone displaced by the storm.

Fire Chief Dave Lewton said although there were downed trees and power lines everywhere, the worst of the damage seemed to be in the west part of town, where the ruptured gas line occurred.

Police and Ohio Highway Patrol troopers redirected traffic through Lisbon while trees were being removed from street. Firefighters from the Hanover and West Point fire departments arrived to assist.