Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Elyria 51°


Weather service confirms tornado touched down Monday


EATON TWP. — There were several tornadoes in Oklahoma between 2004-07 when Jacob MacKeigan lived there, but he said he had never seen one up close until about 7:45 p.m. Monday.

MacKeigan recorded the tornado that touched down Monday near Butternut Ridge Road along state Route 10 on his phone. He said the sky had a gray, yellowish color that reminded him of the color in Oklahoma before tornadoes.

MacKeigan said he was amazed and scared by the tornado, which he recorded for 19 seconds. The footage shows two vortices briefly touching down.

“When I was videotaping, I saw two (vortices) converge into one, Mac-Keigan said. “I realized it was coming due south, right towards me.”

MacKeigan said he ran to his home on Avon-Belden Road and sheltered in a bathroom with Vikki Estes, his fiancee, and Sam Estes, her 6-year-old son. He said the tornado sounded like an industrial fan.

An 86-mph tornado was about 100 yards wide, said Brian Mitchell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland. He said it traveled south for about one mile and was on the ground about five minutes.

Mitchell said the tornado was weak. For instance, the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo., that killed 158 had 200 mph winds and cut a path 22 miles long, according to the Weather Service. The 1924 tornado that killed 72 people in Lorain and 13 in Sandusky had a half-mile wide funnel cloud and winds of between 75 mph and 100 mph,

Monday’s tornado damaged a barn and the roof of a home. The last tornado in Lorain County was in Elyria Township in 2007 and had winds between 65 mph and 75 mph, Mitchell said.

MacKeigan said he was shocked that he didn’t receive tornado alerts on his phone until the house and barn were hit.

“Had that tornado actually stayed on the ground and physically caused damage to the houses down the street here, most of the people probably wouldn’t have known it was coming,” he said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

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