WEST LAFAYETTE — A downburst with winds in excess of 70 mph is being blamed for extensive damage to a barn, as well as other structures and trees along state Route 751 and Coshocton County Road 9 between Newcomerstown and West Lafayette Thursday.
No one was injured as a result of the wind damage.
At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the Coshocton County Sheriff's Office received a call about a possible tornado east of West Lafayette, according to the Coshocton County Emergency Management Agency. Deputies responded, along with the West Lafayette Fire Department.
Upon their arrival, they discovered extensive damage to an equipment barn and three other buildings on the property. The Coshocton County EMA was notified at 6 p.m. and responded to the location to assess the damage.
EMA staff returned on Friday morning to further assess the damage. All information obtained from visits to the locations, as well as information from residents, was used by the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh to determine the cause of the damage.
A downburst is a strong ground-level wind system that emanates from a point source above and blows in a straight line in all directions from the point of contact at ground level.
The weather system that moved through the Tuscarawas Valley Thursday brought plenty of rain and ended the brief spell of springlike temperatures.
"Generally, most local areas received just over an inch of rain," according to the Tuscarawas Weather Network website. "I think if we would have ended up with much more, the river and Stillwater Creek would have reached flood. As it is, all local water gauges are forecast to remain elevated through the weekend but remain below flood stage."
The high Thursday tied the old record high of 62 degrees set at Harry Clever Field in New Philadelphia in 2017. On Tuesday, another record high of 62 was set, breaking the old record at the airport of 58 degrees, set in 2008.