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Tornado causes damage in Pepper Pike area

8:03 AM, Jul 21, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Pepper Pike: Tornado damage

Video: Pepper Pike: Tornado confirmed, gym wall collapses at Ursuli

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PEPPER PIKE -- Neighbors who woke up this morning in Pepper Pike began counting the signs of damage to yards and homes.

On several streets near Lander Road, trees are split or bent in the direction the wind blew.

The National Weather Service confirms a high-end EF1 tornado, up to 200 yards wide, blew a path 1.3 miles from Ursuline College to residential streets.

The college was hardest hit. The gymnasium wall was ripped off in the 110 mph winds.

The science center and college library were damaged, too.

About four or five people were on campus at the time. On Friday afternoon, the college was full of summer campers earlier in the day.

"Nobody was injured. Nobody was hurt. We feel great blessings for that. God was looking out for us," said Sister Diana Stano, President of Ursuline College.

Much of the lush landscaping and age-old trees surrounding the pond on the campus were destroyed in the tornado's path.

"I've been president for 17 years and I've never seen damage like this," Sister Diana said.

Less than a mile away, neighbors on Plymouth Road spent the day counting blessings, too.

Large trees in Lorie Hollington Smith and Katie Outcalt's yards are littered about like twigs.

The first hole of The Country Club is covered in debris as well. Some power lines on Plymouth were brought down in the storm, but no one in the area was injured.

"A lot of really close calls," said Hollington Smith.

The winds sent one branch straight through the dining room wall of Lorie's home. Both women said, another five feet over, and the trees could have landed on bedrooms where parents and children were sleeping.

On Saturday, neighbors found what appeared to be pieces of insulation from Ursuline buildings in their yards.

"I think it picked up a prayer at Ursuline and put a bubble over our houses, because if you look how close these huge trees are to our homes. It's a miracle," said Outcalt.

WKYC-TV

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