July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Ike’s wicked winds blast county

From staff reports

The remnants of Hurricane Ike struck Medina County and most of the state with strong wind gusts and rain Sunday.

No injuries were reported late Sunday evening, according to local dispatchers. One person was electrocuted just across the county border in Copley, a Medina County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher said.

The high wind gusts entered the area around 4 p.m. And the calls of downed power wires and trees began shortly after and never really let up before the Gazette’s presstime.

The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for most of Northeast Ohio and much of north central Ohio which lasted until midnight.

Gusts had been predicted to reach 50 to 60 miles per hour in some areas. Higher gusts were possible during some of the showers and thunderstorms accompanying the winds, according to the weather service.

Power outages were abundant in the county, with a Brunswick Police Department dispatcher suggesting more residents were in the dark than had lights. The sheriff’s spokesman estimated 60 to 75 percent of the area the department serves had no power.

Ohio Edison crews were in Medina and power had been restored to the state Route 18-Interstate 71 corridor and the Union Square neighborhood by 9 p.m., a Medina Police Department dispatcher said.

Lorain-Medina Rural Electric communications director Terry Mazzone reports LMRE suffered “extensive outages,” with customers serviced by substations in Burbank, Harrisville Township and Homer Township losing power throughout the storm. All substations were restored by approximately 9:45 p.m., with only sporadic line outages remaining at that time.

Mazzone said an estimated 2,500 LMRE customers in Medina County alone had been without power for some time.

According to a table on First Energy’s Web site, www.firstenergycorp.com, between 16,505 and 25,500 customers remained in the dark at 10:37 p.m.

Several roads were closed by downed trees and many traffic lights were not functioning at some point in the evening.

The sheriff’s spokesman said there was a minimum of a couple hundred downed trees and power lines each in the county.

The Brunswick spokeswoman said there were three or four reports of trees falling on homes, while the Medina spokeswoman said there were two such reports in the city. The sheriff’s spokesman reported a tree fell on a home in Chippewa Lake.

According to the weather service, the area experienced gusts ranging from 33 miles per hour at 3 p.m. to 41 miles per hour at 5 and 6 p.m.

Elsewhere in the state, a woman was killed when high winds toppled a tree onto her Southwest Ohio home.

The accident occurred in a suburban neighborhood of Mount Healthy, located about 15 miles north of Cincinnati.

Strong gusts toppled trees throughout Southwest Ohio, ripped roofs from buildings and temporarily shut down the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Airport officials evacuated the control tower and canceled about 40 flights before resuming air traffic, said airport spokesman Ted Bushelman. He said winds were up to 74 mph.

Wind ripped off part of the roof from a Delta Airlines hangar and damaged another airport building, Bushelman said.

In Warren County, the winds sparked at least eight fires, including one at a power substation in Hamilton Township that was later extinguished, said Frank Young, the county’s director of emergency services. About half of the county’s residents are without power.

Hurricane Ike came ashore from the Gulf of Mexico and hit Texas early Saturday morning, then moved northward on Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.