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Tornadic thunderstorms cause flooding in Pacelli Hall basement

Alissa Van Dress
Severe thunderstorms accompanied by multiple tornado warnings leave Pacelli Hall flooded.

Many counties across Northeast Ohio experienced quite the angry episode from Mother Nature late during the evening of Aug. 24 and early into the morning of Aug. 25, as a line of severe thunderstorms and even some tornadoes produced damage across the region.

One location that faced some damage as a result of these powerful storms was the basement of Pacelli Hall where some flooding occurred. Earlier this semester, Pacelli Hall reopened after undergoing renovations for the entire 2022-2023 academic year. Even though there have been previous issues with water leaks and flooding around John Carroll in buildings such as Campion Hall, the Lombardo Student Center and the O’Malley Center, it is believed that severe weather did indeed cause the flooding rather than a burst pipe.

Lisa Brown Cornelius, Senior Director of the Office of Residence Life, told The Carroll News that not all students were moved in at the time of the flooding. Some living in the basement of Pacelli Hall that were moved in early, however, were temporarily relocated until the damage was repaired.

After the flooding was discovered, the Facilities Department immediately contacted a professional cleaning and remediation company. The damage created by the storm in the basement of Pacelli Hall has since been fixed. The Office of Residence Life is grateful for the understanding and patience of students who were immediately impacted by the flooding and they were able to return to their dorms in the newly renovated Pacelli Hall as it once was.

According to FOX 8 Cleveland and 19 Action News, the impacted counties of these tornadic thunderstorms include Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Ottawa, Portage, Richland, Sandusky, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne. Tornado warnings were issued in all of these counties just before midnight and expired prior to 1 a.m.

During that timespan, a total of 12 tornadoes touched down across Northeast Ohio as confirmed by the National Weather Service. Five of those tornadoes additionally struck western areas of Ohio.

The first tornado was an EF1 and made landfall in Elmore in Sandusky County at 11:08 p.m. It was recorded as the longest lasting tornado of that night, traveling over four miles in seven minutes. Another EF1 tornado hit Vermillion in Erie County at 11:45 p.m.

Right at midnight, an EF0 tornado struck LaGrange Township in Lorain County. At the same time, another EF1 tornado came in Wellington, five miles southwest of LaGrange Township. A fifth tornado, an EF1, hit Spencer Township in Medina County, located five miles southeast of Wellington.

Seven other tornadoes arrived in further east parts of Ohio around midnight, one of which touched down at 71st St. and Chester Ave. in Cleveland. At 12:04 a.m., another EF1 tornado struck Mentor in Lake County. An EF2 twister hit Warrensville Heights and Bedford Heights at 12:07 a.m., both cities being located in Cuyahoga County. Around 12:30 a.m., three tornadoes made landfall in the Geauga County cities of Bainbridge, Chardon and Middlefield. The last tornado formed at 12:35 a.m. in Bristolville, which is in Trumbull County.

Fortunately, no one was injured or killed during these storms. However, a lot of damage was reported throughout Northeast Ohio such as downed power lines and trees, collapsed roofs and damaged homes from trees and flying debris. Over 200,000 people were without power for several days and a number of school districts canceled classes the next morning, as stated by News 5 Cleveland.

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About the Contributor
Alissa Van Dress, Campus Editor
Alissa Van Dress is a junior English major from Amherst, Ohio. She has a concentration in professional writing with minors in business, creative writing and Spanish and Hispanic Studies. Previously, Alissa served as the copy editor at The Carroll News. In addition to her current role as campus editor, Alissa is a JCU football and basketball cheerleader, a writing consultant at the JCU Writing Center, works as a digital engagement ambassador for the JCU Carroll Fund, and serves on the visual arts committee for The Carroll Review. Also, she is honored to have co-founded the Theatre Club at John Carroll University. Other than writing, some of Alissa's favorite hobbies include musical theater, vocal performance, fashion, dance and cheerleading/acrobatics. After graduation, Alissa plans to write for children's entertainment.

To contact Alissa, email her at [email protected].

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