Share

Tornado Rocks Ohio's Ursuline College

July 21, 2013

(AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Thomas Ondrey)

Downed trees and debris from a storm line the pond on the campus of Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio, on Saturday, July 20, 2013. A tornado of 110 mph winds hit Ursuline College in northeast Ohio early Saturday morning, collapsing a wall of the school's athletic center and damaging other buildings.

PEPPER PIKE, Ohio -- A tornado packing 110 mph winds hit Ursuline College in northeast Ohio early Saturday morning, collapsing a wall of the school's athletic center and damaging other buildings but causing no injuries, officials said.

The EF1 twister hit about 3:35 a.m. northwest of the college and continued across part of the campus, said meteorologist William Comeaux of the National Weather Service in Cleveland. It reached 100-200 yards wide and traveled 1.3 miles.

Only a few students were on campus at the time, and they weren't close to the athletic center that was hardest hit, a college spokeswoman said.

"The blessing is that there was no loss of life or injury," Sister Diana Stano, president of the 1,500-student school about 13 miles east of Cleveland said on the college's website.

No one answered the main number for the college Saturday evening, but a recorded message said the campus was closed Saturday and Sunday to assess the damage.

(More: Tornado Drought Continues)

The storm caused an external wall of the school's O'Brien Athletic Center to collapse and destroyed part of the roof. It also damaged several other buildings, including the Dauby Science Center and the Ralph M. Besse Library. Many trees were uprooted or destroyed and other campus facilities had minor damage.

College spokeswoman Angela DelPrete said only about five students were on campus at the time and they were about 1,000 feet from the gymnasium. She described debris scattered around the campus and broken windows. Weather service photos showed roof tiles torn away on the gymnasium exposing splintered wood and support beams.

Stano told The Plain Dealer that Ursuline was accepted as an NCAA Division II school only last week.

"Now we don't have a place to play," she said.

Ursuline was founded by Roman Catholic nuns as the first women's college in Ohio. Men now also attend the school.

Despite the damage Saturday, Comeaux said, "It's a beautiful area with lots of trees."

He said it's been about two years since a tornado has touched down in the region; the state averages 17-19 tornadoes per year. A disaster relief fund will be established to help rebuild the campus, the website said.

More: Moore Tornado's Destruction From Above

An aerial view shows Briarwood Elementary with vehicles thrown about after Monday's tornado, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, in Moore, Okla. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


Featured Blogs

Edouard Dying; Fung-Wong Floods Manilla

By Dr. Jeff Masters
September 19, 2014

The Atlantic's strongest and longest-lived named storm of 2014, Edouard, is near the end of its life. Passage over waters cooler than 23°C (73°F) have resulted in the loss of all of Edouard's heavy thunderstorms, and satellite images show that Edouard is just a swirl of low clouds. Edouard will likely be declared dead by Saturday morning.

August 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By Christopher C. Burt
September 12, 2014

August featured a record heat wave in the Baltics and Belarus, record cold in Northern Ireland, extreme rainfall events along the U.S. East Coast and in Michigan. Deadly flooding in Nepal and India killed at least 200 and Typhoon Halong hit Japan. A rare tropical storm struck the Big Island of Hawaii. Perth, Australia had its warmest August on record while Darwin measured its coldest August temperature on record.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.