MOUNT VERNON — Strong thunderstorms roared through Licking and Knox counties in the early evening on Friday which included a lot of rain, wind and lightning. Reports were received by local emergency management officials from residents in the St. Louisville and Utica areas of possible tornado sightings. Both Knox and Licking counties were under tornado warnings during the evening.
Jeff Walker, Licking County Emergency Management Agency director, reported today that despite the calls about tornado sightings, no tornado was ever confirmed.
“There were many cloud formations, but there were no tornados and no rotation,” said Walker, who confirmed that the National Weather Service also reported no actual tornados.
Storm activity coming from the west contained the possibility of a tornado, said Walker. This prompted the NWS to issue a warning, and the county sirens were then sounded, as is the practice of the Licking County EMA. “Conditions were favorable, and it’s our protocol to sound our sirens when the NWS issues a warning,” he said. “It’s a precautionary measure to keep people aware so that they watch the weather.”
Richard Dzik, acting Knox County EMA director said there were no reports of funnel clouds in the Knox County area, although strong storms crossed the county.