CINCINNATI - Robby Mulvey couldn't believe what he was seeing at noon Tuesday on Fountain Square.
Sudden wind gusts swooped down on Fifth and Vine streets during the regular Market on the Square event.
"Tents were blowing over and being blown around. Produce was flying," he said. "It was like the Wizard of Oz here."
Mulvey was working a booth for Montgomery-based Donna's Gourmet Cookies that fared much better than most. He and a co-worker grabbed the crossbars of their tent and held it down.
"The good people of Cincinnati need their gourmet cookies today," he quipped.
That was just one of the numerous locations damaged Tuesday by a strong, fast-moving storm that blew across Butler, Warren and Clermont counties plus the eastern half of Hamilton County at mid-day.
Dark, ominous-looking clouds hung close to the ground as the leading edge of the storm swept across Butler County in a southeasterly direction.
It was quickly followed by torrential rain that the wind drove sideways at time. It lasted nearly half-an-hour and created flash-flooding in numerous areas.
At one point more than 42,000 Duke Energy customers were without power.
The electricity went off around 12:15 p.m. at the University of Cincinnati's Blue Ash Campus.
Marlene Miner, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, said since it's summer, most classes are held in the morning or evening.
However, there were a few 1 o'clock sessions scheduled and professors were told that the power would be out between one and two hours.
"Some professors decided to stay and conduct class with the light from the windows, mostly giving lectures, and those who relied on computers actually sent their classes home."
The campus never closed. Staff members were on hand to greet students arriving for class, but unaware of the lack of electricity.
Other UC employees did what work they could without power until it was restored around 3:30 p.m. Evening classes were expected to proceed as scheduled.
There were damage reports coming in from a wide area:
* Traffic lights were out in a portion of Blue Ash, meaning that
intersections like Plainfield and Cooper Roads turned into
* A tree limb temporarily blocked Heritage Club Drive in Mason.
* A tent used for the summer reading program at the Mason Public
Library was blown over. Luckily, no students or staff members
were inside it at the time.
* A huge tree was blown over along Route 32 near Batavia.
* The Sycamore Township McDaniel Sports Complex on Solzman
Road was temporarily flooded by heavy rain.
Some portions of Greater Cincinnati recorded over two inches of rainfall during the brief, but intense storm. The sun continued to shine on the Western portion of Hamilton County with no moisture falling from the sky and most people unaware of the events across town.
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