Storm damage in Ashland and surrounding counties

WOOSTER, Ohio — A cold front and high pressure system that swept the state Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday has finally helped end the daily rain and humidity that plagued Ohioans for the past couple weeks.

But the new weather system came with vengeance, toppling one Ashland County barn that resulted in the death of at least nine mature dairy heifers, and leveling parts of wheat and corn fields across the region.

Barn collapses

Dan Harpster, of Harpster Enterprises near Rowsburg, Ohio, spent the morning of July 11 cleaning up debris along a bank barn that collapsed around 4 p.m. July 10.

He said about 35 head of heifers were kept in the barn, and that volunteers — as many as 150 and fire rescue personnel — helped get most of the cattle out and trucked to another barn. Some of them helped form a “human fence,” he said, so the loose cattle moved in the right direction.

“The help was unbelievable,” he said, adding the animals themselves seemed “dazed.” He said it was likely some of the surviving cattle may need to be euthanized, depending on the severity of their injuries. No farm workers or respondents were reported injured.

Harpster farms with his brothers, David and Dean Harpster. Their main farm is off U.S. Route 250 between Wooster and Ashland. The barn that was destroyed was located along County Road 1302.

The bank-style barn dated back to at least the early 1900s, Dan Harpster said, and was insured. Officials estimated the total damage to be $200,000.

Five loads of straw were hauled out of the barn, which was a complete loss. Harpster said it is possible they will discover more entrapped cattle as workers continue to sort through debris.

Around the region

Other farms in Ashland County suffered wind damage to corn and wheat, ponding in fields and downed trees. Richland County had water escaping river banks and flooding on some roadways.

Did your farm suffer damage from the storm? Feel free to comment below or share your pictures.

About the Author

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties. More Stories by Chris Kick

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