BROOKFIELD — Steve Euakich had just sat down to a Father’s Day steak dinner when he realized a tornado was just moments from hurtling over top of his Wood Street home.
“I don’t think I even took one bite before I looked outside and saw all kinds of debris swirling around by the barn,” he said.
A survey conducted by the Cleveland office of the National Weather Service concluded the EF-1 twister touched down in Vienna, Ohio, at 4:44 p.m. Sunday and tore its way through Brookfield and Masury before lifting near the state line at Sharon’s West Hill at 4:51 p.m. No injuries or deaths were reported.
Wood Street residents said the storm came and went quickly, but not before its peak winds of roughly 95 mph left a path of debris nearly 6 miles long, according to the Cleveland NWS survey.
Brookfield township Trustee Dan Suttles said he traveled with the township’s police and fire departments Sunday night to get an assessment of the storm and damage.
“Our cemetery took a good hit,’’ he said. “We have tombstones knocked over, downed trees and the brand new fence we put up is damaged.’’
An insurance adjuster is expected to evaluate the cemetery for damage today, Suttles said. The tornado forced one family had to move out of their home in the Joy Road area due to damages.
Suttles, a retired assistant fire chief from Warren, credited the township’s first responders and road crew in getting to people and clearing debris from roads.
“It was all hands on deck,’’ Suttles said. “Our guys came out and did what needed to be done. These guys understand storm mode.’’
The tornado moved quickly through Brookfield, dissipating almost as soon as it arose.
“Before we even got down into the basement, it was already over,” Wood Street resident Dave Miller said. “We come back out and everything was everywhere — trees down, the bed liner of the truck was down the road.”
Susan Steach’s home, at the corner of Wood Street and Brookfield Road, sustained roof damage from downed tree branches. A camper parked in the driveway was destroyed.
“You just have to laugh about it or else you’re going to cry,” Steach said.
The storm diced its way from Wood Street through Brookfield Cemetery, which is at state routes 82 and 7.. Brookfield road superintendent Jamie Fredenburg said 12 medium to large-sized trees were uprooted or broken off in the cemetery, and about 20 headstones were knocked over or broken by high winds.
Storm debris halted traffic east and westbound on Route 82. Between the Brookfield road crew, fire department and ODOT, Fredenberg said it took about three hours to clear the roads.
“Could have been a lot worse,” he said. “We sustained some damage, but nothing we can’t recover from.”
The storm leveled a weld shop behind Kirila Contractors as it wound its way down state Route 82. Kirila controller David Pringle said the storm also damaged one of the business’ garage doors and roof, as well as two of the Kirila family’s personal homes adjacent to the business.
Roughly one mile northeast, Yankee Run Golf Course assistant superintendent Garrett McMullen said the storm uprooted roughly 300 trees on the 18-hole course along Warren-Sharon Road.
“We hope we can have it up and running in about a week,” he said. “But the whole cleanup could take years.”
As the storm mangled the golf course, Shawn Winans stepped out into his front yard of his home on Lorain Street in Masury to catch a glimpse of the approaching storm.
He described the setting as “dead calm” just before the unmistakable freight-train-like sound of an incoming twister forced him back in to safety.
“It literally sounded like a train,” he said. “The whole house shook.”
The storm cracked the foundation of his house and snapped a large tree branch, damaging his roof and wiping out nearly his entire front porch.
“I’ve never been scared of storms,” he said. “But this one was different.”
But as many uprooted trees, debris and insurance claims the storm left in its wake, Sunday’s tornado produced a comparable amount of volunteers eager to assist with damages.
“It’s almost an overwhelming amount of support, McMullen said of the golf course cleanup efforts. “I can’t even begin to thank everyone. I don’t even know how.”
Greg Powell, a landscaper whose family once owned a golf course in Hubbard, was among the many helpers at Yankee Run Monday morning. With all the rain so far this season, Powell knows how hard business has been for courses in the area.
“It’s our competition, so obviously want to make sure our course is nicer than theirs,” he joked, before he became serious. “But we’re in the same business. We should help each other out when we can.”
Steach said “people were everywhere for hours and hours” helping to clean up damage in the Wood Street neighborhood once the tornado warning was lifted.
“A lot of people that we don’t even know just stopped by with chainsaws and started helping and just showing the real community spirit,” she said.
There might be more to come. Cleveland NWS is predicting a chance of thunderstorms throughout the week before a break in the weather on Friday. More storms could be expected through the weekend.
“It’s been like a circus down here,” Euakich said of the Wood Street cleanup efforts. “But we’ve had enough excitement this summer, I’ll tell ya that.”
HERALD STAFF WRITER Michael Roknick contributed to this story.