Flood warnings were issued across the state Thursday following a day of severe storms, which spawned a small tornado that ripped siding from an office supply store, flattened residential garages and forced some schools to cancel classes because of a power outage.
No injuries were reported from the tornado, which briefly touched down Wednesday evening in northeast Ohio. Elyria is about 25 miles west of Cleveland.
The tornado was weak and on the ground only a few minutes, said Jim Kosarik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland.
Investigators will have to assess the damage to determine wind speed, said NWS meteorologist Mike Abair.
Strong winds downed power lines and trees, and tossed a shopping cart through the window of an empty building, said Lt. Bob Krugman of the Elyria Fire Department.
Classes were canceled at some schools because power was out and officials didn't know when it would be restored, school board member Kathryn Carpus said.
On Thursday, authorities closed roads in areas from Auglaize County in western Ohio to Belmont County in eastern Ohio because of high water, sheriff's offices said.
The rain changed to freezing rain and sleet in Union County, northwest of Columbus, possibly contributing to numerous accidents, some involving injuries, a sheriff's dispatcher said.