Friday's high winds-clocked near 80 mph in some areas-are known as a "derecho," or extreme straight line wind, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.
The site says derechos usually take the form of a squall line that travels hundreds of miles and produce wind gusts of 80 mph and, in rare cases, up to 100 mph.
Third Street, Marietta, resident Ken Morrison experienced some derecho devastation firsthand Friday night.
"I told my wife I had to get something out of the car and was about to step into the street, but then I thought maybe this wasn't a good idea," he said.
Directly across the street was his company's Ford SUV, but on the other side of the vehicle a huge sweet gum tree swayed menacingly in the wind.
"The tree fell onto the car and smashed through the windshield," Morrison said.
At a glance
- Derecho is a Spanish word meaning "straight" or "right."
- In meteorology, the term describes a long-lived, violent straight-line convective wind storm.
Source: National Weather Service
One thick tree branch rammed through the windshield and into the driver's side of the front seat.
It took Morrison and several friends a couple of hours to saw the tree into pieces and move it out of the street.
Franklin Street resident Jose Rivira said limbs were also blowing into the street from the large trees in front of his home when the derecho blew through Friday.
"It took down a power line here, and a cable line at the house next door," he said Sunday. "The limbs were lying in the roadway until the fire department finally cleared them out and piled them on this side of the street."
The derecho that blew through the Mid-Ohio Valley Friday initially developed as a line of thunderstorms in the Chicago, Ill., area, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington. The winds then moved across northern Indiana and intensified, reaching speeds of 91 mph near Fort Wayne, Ind.
The Wilmington NWS issued 19 severe thunderstorm warnings during Friday's derecho event.