Damaging winds tore through Reynoldsburg Wednesday evening, toppling trees and leaving some residents in the dark as tree limbs brought down power lines.
Nocturne Road in the Briarcliff neighborhood was one of the hardest hit areas, city Service Director Nathan Burd said.
“Several residents reported big trees down in Briarcliff,” he said.
A loss of power at Wesley Ridge caused the Reynoldsburg Area Chamber of Commerce to cancel a luncheon today, July 11, that was to have featured city officials discussing a possible income tax increase request or a plan to cut the city’s tax credit in half in an effort to raise money.
Tree companies were working on Nocturne Road in the early afternoon July 11, dealing with three tall trees that toppled across front yards.
A large tree on North Nocturne was uprooted and crashed down on the front edge of a house, tearing off a portion of the roof and gutters and blocking the front entrance.
“We also had some Huber area residents without power for about five hours last night,” Burd said.
Other than tree damage, the city escaped any major structural damage, Burd said.
“We had staff members out on the streets until 7:30 p.m. last night, clearing tree branches from some of the roads,” he said. “We had a bigger issue with some traffic lights out on Route 256, but we coordinated those outages with ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation).”
Parks and Recreation Department Director Joe Brown said the tree damage from the storm was extensive enough to cause more headaches for parks personnel at Spangler Field on Livingston Avenue.
The Spangler baseball field backstop fence was damaged when a cottonwood tree toppled onto it during a violent thunderstorm June 15, which also took out the drinking fountain.
Brown said more large tree branches and sections of trees toppled near the baseball diamond and around the field during the July 10 storm.
“A lot of the trees in that area are old and heavy-limbed,” he said. “Those big trees have to be pruned regularly, or they will destroy themselves in a strong wind.”
He said the city has spent $9,000 on tree maintenance since he became parks director last November.
“We also spent over 100 manhours getting Spangler Field ready for our baseball leagues, then the June storm struck and brought down the backstop so we never got to use the field,” he said.
Brown said the city will add the damages caused at Spangler from this latest storm to an insurance claim.
He said the backstop and fence will cost about $9,500 to replace; the water fountain will cost $2,000 and the tree removal will cost about $10,000.
“We hope to have the work completed at Spangler by the end of July or mid-August and may offer a fall baseball league,” he said.
Brown said there were no other major damages at other Reynoldsburg parks, although a tree near the parking lot at Kennedy Park split nearly in half, striking one of the picnic tables and spreading branches onto the parking lot.
“We got that cleaned up pretty quickly,” he said. “I just hope we can save the tree.”
Burd said residents should know that if trees toppled on their property, they are responsible for the cleanup. Branches should be cut no longer than four feet long and tied into bundles that are no heavier than 50 pounds, for pickup on trash day by Rumpke.