Tornado sirens sounded at about 7:25 a.m. this morning, signaling a tornado warning for southwestern Athens County.
At 7:12 a.m., The National Weather Service issued a warning until 8 a.m. this morning because of a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado 7 miles northwest of Coolville moving east at 35 miles per hour.
Ohio University students received an emergency text message at 7:32 a.m. stating that: “NWS reports: Tornado WARNING for Athens until 8 a.m. or p.m. 02/28. Seek shelter now!”
At about 8 a.m., the tornado warning was dropped but a tornado watch is now in effect until 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
During the warning, witnesses said the Wellness Center at Grover was evacuated.
Athens County is under a flood watch until 10 p.m.
Areas around the city of Athens has experienced some flash flooding, particularly on Richland Avenue between Hooper and Pomeroy roads, said Assistant Service Safety Director Ron Lucas.
Lucas added that the flooding here and in several other areas around the city has receded and city street workers are cleaning up the debris, such as tree branches, this morning.
There are also several trees down around the city because of the flooding, he said.
Athens County is also under a hazardous weather watch through today and tonight.
As of 9:30 a.m., 55 city of Athens residents and 700 Athens County residents were out of power, said Jeff Rennie, spokesman for Southeastern Ohio AEP.
Ohio University's Scalia Lab Associate Director Alek Krautmann said this kind of weather is very unusual for winter time.
"When you get the right ingredients for storm weather, it can happen any time," Krautmann said. "The transition between (winter and spring) seasons just started earlier this year."
Ohio University students can now go to classes, according to OU's Twitter page.