High winds caused power poles to snap on Westwood Drive on Wednesday. Many residents around the county lost power. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
High winds caused power poles to snap on Westwood Drive on Wednesday. Many residents around the county lost power. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

VAN WERT – The backside of Winter Storm Dorothy came roaring into Van Wert County on schedule mid-morning on Wednesday and within minutes, power poles were down, areas of the Van Wert area were without electricity, and limbs and shingles were blowing freely across area roads and streets.

Weather specialist Rick McCoy said that gusts at the height of the windstorm registered between 55 and 65 miles per hour in the area. The highest gust at McCoy’s local weather station was 55 miles per hour but he noted that just to the west in  Decatur and parts of Adams County registered wind gusts as high as 64 miles per hour. A large area to the southwest of Fort Wayne was registering wind gusts as high as 67 miles per hour.

Two poles snapped in the vicinity of Westwood Drive and forced transformers to erupt in sparks and cause outages in the southern part of the Van Wert area. The gust took the poles at approximately 11 a.m. McCoy said late in the afternoon that some of the power had been restored but other parts of the area were still waiting for restoration close to 5:30 p.m.

Other reported damage included a semi blown off of U.S. 30 just outside the city.

In Fort Wayne, Christmas lighting at the large tree on Broadway Street was postponed when a strong gust of wind downed the tree. As in other areas, there were reports of downed trees and poles.

Wednesday’s windstorm followed a surprise snowstorm on Saturday evening that dropped two to three inches of the white stuff across the area. Locally, said McCoy, the official total at his office was 2.3 inches. There were places in the surrounding area that had reported up to four inches of snow.

“We will see where this all leads,” said McCoy. “So far, the season is off to a different start than we have had in the past few years. It’s been quite a while since we have received two significant snowfalls in November.”

In the meantime, another major storm is already gathering in the western United States with significant amounts of snow and freezing rain falling across the Rockies.

“So far, it appears that we will be getting a rainy weekend out of this, but no significant snow,” said McCoy. “But stay tuned in as the weekend approaches but as you know, things have been known to change around here.”

Next week is predicted to have fairly normal temperatures for the first week of December with highs in the upper 30’s and low 40’s, and a couple of periods of mixed rain and snow.