NWS confirms microburst caused damage in Colerain

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UPDATE 6/25:

The National Weather Services in Pittsburgh has confirmed that a microburst ripped through Colerain last Thursday.

That microburst, or column of sinking air, ripped the roofs off of houses and barns in the Wildwood Drive, Dlesk Avenue area off of Route 250.

The National Weather Service confirms that a microburst is like straight lines of winds associated with a thunderstorm, and can be as powerful as an EF0 or EF1 tornado.

Families that 7News spoke with are waiting on insurance assistance to repair their damages.


Two homes received extensive damage after severe weather came through Colerain on Wednesday evening.

The potential microburst hit Dlesk Ave. in Colerain between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., and only lasted about 10 to 20 seconds.

The roofs of both homes were blown off and debris was strewn across the area as the storm lasted about two minutes, witnesses say. A barn down the road was also damaged, but no people were injured.

Belmont County EMA director Dave Ivan has said that the storm could potentially be a microburst, although that is currently unconfirmed.

A microburst is a concentrated cell of severe weather that can last a brief period of time, but can be just as powerful as an EF-1 tornado.


UPDATE: 12:00 p.m.

7news spoke with homeowner Michael Dlesk. He said he was actually outside as the storm was hitting. He ran inside his house, got inside safely, and 10 seconds later, the entire roof blew off his house.

“Sounded like thunder, a thousand times louder,” said Dlesk.

Right away, he said he knew this was not a typical storm.

“The whole roof came off pivoted this way, flipped over, landed on the driveway, took out this RV, power line,” said Dlesk.

His neighbor George said he was working in his garage just before it hit.

“We watched his roof blew over, and I ran inside to see where the kids were, and my daughter came running down the stairs and said that she heard cracking. The roof lifted up and slammed back down,” said George Halaja, Dlesk avenue resident.

Walking through the damage, Michael said it’s strange to see his refrigerator and kitchen table sitting inside a destroyed room, now out in the open.

“The house was shaking. Everything on the walls like the mirrors and stuff, they were shaking and then they just dropped off the wall and then it flipped over, and you just heard a loud bang when it hit the ground. A big huge bay window here that was the kitchen and it shadowed as soon as it hit the ground,” said Dlesk.

Neighbors ran to their basements, the people inside the RV in Michael’s front yard got out safely. The roof of a barn a couple of streets away blew off too.

“I have a hotel so that’s kind of where we’re at right now.”

Now, Michael waits for insurance to assess the damages before he can pick up the pieces.

“I’m just glad everybody was all OK, this is all replaceable,” said Halaja.

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