YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (July 22, 2003) — A tornado with winds ranging from 75 to 110 mph severely damaged a Ziegler Tire & Supply Co. outlet in Youngstown, the National Weather Service in Cleveland and Youngstown police reported.
William Ziegler, president of the Canton, Ohio-based commercial dealership, said Ziegler Tire ran a commercial service center and warehouse in Youngstown. The two-story service center was badly damaged, but the nearby warehouse was left untouched. He estimated the damage at $300,000 to $400,000.
Three employees were in the shop when the tornado touched down about 1:45 p.m., but no one was hurt. The center's office manager was the only one on the second floor—she ducked under a desk as the tornado ripped the walls apart, Mr. Ziegler said. No customers or their trucks were in the center at the time, and Ziegler Tire's service trucks were all out on road calls.
Meteorologist Will Kubina said the damage path of the F1 tornado extended about eight miles long, though the tornado touched down intermittently. The tornado also blew over two railroad cars and damaged several homes. Other funnel clouds were reported, but this was the only tornado to touch down in Northeast Ohio as of Tuesday morning, Mr. Kubina said.
Mr. Ziegler told Tire Business he plans to rebuild the facility. For now, customers will be served from a temporary office trailer by the Youngstown facility as well as surrounding Ziegler locations in Northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania. The dealership operates 16 outlets.
Capt. Mike Vodilko of the Youngstown police department said no deaths or injuries were reported from the tornado. The tornado also tore off the roof of another building, he added. “It went through the east side and took down a lot of trees.”