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Microburst, not tornado hit Hilliard

 
Microburst, not tornado hit Hilliard
Posted July 11th, 2013 @ 4:59pm by WTVN Newsroom

HILLIARD, Ohio (WTVN) -- It wasn't a tornado, but Wednesday's storm did plenty of damage at an industrial park near Hilliard.

"Obviously it was a pretty significant event. You're talking most likely about winds that were 80 miles per hour or greater," said Mary Jo Parker, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Wilmington.

Parker's investigation determined that winds of 95 miles per hour hit the area of Westbelt Dr and Trabue Rd. The damage path was 500 yards wide and stretched over a 1/2 mile.

Six people were injured in the storm.

To figure it out what hit Parker takes into account what types of buildings were damaged and how.

"We're looking at the building structure, what parts of the building may have been damaged. Looking at how it was built to the best of my ability. I'm not a structural engineer," she said.

Survey teams also take into account eyewitness accounts and photos of the storms.

Click here for listener photos

"Sometimes it's hard for the untrained person to differentiate between some of the motions you might see with a significant downburst and an actual tornado funnel," she said.

At one warehouse on Westbelt Drive the front wall is completely gone, but stacks of boxes on shelves inside sit untouched. It's something you might expect from a tornado, but Parker says it's possible from other wind events as well.

"As we saw last June 29th straight line winds can produce significant damage and can be as deadly as a weak tornado," she said.

Click here to read the official statement from the National Weather Service

Video from Westbelt Dr courtesy John Boyd

Video posted to YouTube from the west side of Columbus

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