SIDNEY — Wind, wind, go away was the sentiment for Ohio residents Sunday as Mother Nature once again showed who is the boss of weather experiences.
Trees were toppled and wires snapped as wind gusts reached more than 50 mph at times during the day. Power outages were reported throughout the county and surrounding area.
“We had a sustained wind of 20 to 30 mph Sunday with 40 to 50 mph gusts of winds,” said Mary Ann Kabel, DP&L director of corporate communications. “The northern counties, of which Shelby County is part of, had 50 mph gusts of wind,”
Prior to the winds arriving, said Kabel, DP&L watched the weather models to see how the storm was developing. They had 50 crews ready to roll when the first outages were reported.
“Our crews worked overnight,” said Kabel. “We had 47,000 customers’s power restored in less than 24 hours.”
She said 1,300 customers remain without power early Monday afternoon.
“We’re hoping to have 98 to 100 percent of all customers restored later today.”
In Shelby County, 2,055 customers lost their power Sunday. At 1:30 p.m. Monday, 56 customers were still without power.
In Auglaize County, 296 customers lost their power, with three still waiting for power to be restored.
In addition to the DP&L crews, mutual aid was received from electrical crews in Kentucky, Indiana and local cooperatives, said Kabel.
“We’d like to thank our crews for the work they did,” said Kabel. “They were faced with difficult conditions to work in.
“And to our customers, thank you for your patience. It’s not easy to lose your power for an extended period of time,” she said.
Crews, said Kabel, were faced with balmy spring temperatures Sunday morning. Conditions quickly deteriorated as temperatures tumbled and the wind chill dropped the temperatures even more.
“Our crews are well-equipped for any weather conditions,” said Kabel. “They go out in all elements and they perform well.”
Kabel said the majority of outages was caused by falling trees which knocked down power lines.
“Because of the rain we had last week, the ground was saturated,” said Kabel. “Then add in tthe gusts of winds, and the trees fell all over.”
Midwest Electric CEO Matt Berry, said at the storm’s peak Sunday evening, 2,500 of the co-op’s 11,000 members were without electricity.
“Power was restored to all by 4 a.m. Monday,” said Berry. “Most outages were caused by problems with AEP and DP&L transmission to our distribution substations. There were a number of trees on lines, fallen lines, broken poles, etc.”
The National Weather Service in Wilmington reported gusts of winds in Shelby County were in the 40 to 50 mph range for most of Sunday. The highest recorded gusts in Sidney were 52 mph around 5 p.m.
“But in Botkins, wind gusts topped out at 64 mph close to 4 p.m.,” said Cheri Drinkwine, Shelby County Emergency Management Agency director.
Botkins Police Chief said he only had a report of a small tree going down in the wind storm.
Drinkwine said the office received a call from TAM 105.5 radio Sunday night that they were without power.
Sidney Fire Department responded to the radio station on a report of poles sparking, which led to the power outage.
“Chris Roediger from Shelby County maintenance pulled a generator that is specifically for the radio station from the EMA building (and took it) out to them,” said Drinkwine.
Sidney Police Chief said the only major issue he had been made aware of is the traffic lights on state Route 47 near Sixth Avenue were out during the storm.
Shelby County Engineer Bob Geuy said his department only handled one downed tree and one stop sign that was damaged by the wind.
“We felt pretty lucky on that one!” said Geuy.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office received more than 30 calls concerning downed trees or power lines.
The greenhouse at Christian Academy Schools was toppled and destroyed by the winds, said Superintendent Dick Dray. No plants had been planted yet, said Dray, and the school plans to rebuild the greenhouse.
Fort Loramie Schools Superintendent Dan Holland said some shingles were blown off the athletic building.
Other schools were contacted and Sidney, Fairlawn, Russia and Botkins reported no wind damage.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.