June 29, 2016

Partly cloudy

Power lost after storm hits Medina County

By Loren Genson, Kiera Manion-Fischer and Steve Grazier

Editor’s note: As of 10 a.m. today, there are 103 customers without power in Medina County, according to First Energy’s website.

Medina County was pounded with high winds and drenching rain courtesy of superstorm Sandy. But property damage was minimal compared to areas to the north.

Streams and creeks ran high, and trees knocked down some power lines, but police agencies reported no injuries or deaths attributed to the storm.

The Chippewa Inlet Trail is flooded Tuesday between Lake and Ballash roads in Lafayette Township. The water rose from the neighboring wetlands. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY NICK GLUNT)

Still, the wind and rain caused headaches for homeowners.

More than 1,400 Medina County homes and businesses were without electrical service Tuesday morning because of downed power lines, according to an Ohio Edison official.

Hinckley Township had the most — 900 customers without power. Granger Township had 182; Medina Township, 111; Liverpool Township, 91; Brunswick, 62; Wadsworth Township, 30; Wadsworth, 18; and Medina, 17.

Service to most customers was restored by midafternoon. The rest are expected to regain power by today.

In Brunswick, city service crews put aside leaf collection for the day to help clear at least 15 trees blocking the public right-of-way, and clean leaves out of storm-water catch basins, said Ryan Lutz, the city’s street superintendent.

Lutz asked residents with catch basins near their yards to keep an eye on them and to try to keep them clear of debris. If basins look blocked but are difficult to reach, Lutz asked residents to contact the city.

“We don’t want anyone doing anything unsafe; but if it’s possible to clear those out, it would really help,” he said.

Lutz said residents can continue to place yard waste in the city right-of-way for the next two to three weeks.

In Hinckley, township Trustee Martha Catherwood said crews also were busy cleaning drains and helping to clear downed trees.

“Our police, fire and service department were coordinating (Monday) just to be prepared,” she said. “Unfortunately, we did have some trees down, but they worked hard to clear them.”

In Medina, residents battled flooded streets, said Nino Piccoli, city safety services director. He said he received calls about flooding at South Huntington and Lafayette streets and North Huntington and Northland streets at about 2 a.m. He said the flooded streets were caused by leaves clogging storm drains.

By Tuesday afternoon, Piccoli said the rear portion of Huffman Park was underwater and closed to the public.

But homeowners got off lucky: Piccoli said he did not receive any calls about homes flooding.

Youngsters just got off easy: Black River, Brunswick, Buckeye, Cloverleaf, Highland, Medina and Wadsworth schools were closed Tuesday.

Power outages shut down several traffic signals, including those at 1000 E. Washington St. in front of Medina Hospital and on Public Square.

Piccoli said the service department put up flares to urge motorists to slow down and stop at the intersections.

The Medina Community Recreation Center was closed Tuesday because it was without power.

Denny Miller, Medina Township road foreman, said township crews also were busy responding to trees down on Hamlin, Remsen, Cook and Church roads.

The power was out all day Tuesday at the Medina Township Hall, and the Police Department was powered using a generator, he said. He said there was some water on Hamlin Road because of ditches flooding.

Dennis Clapper, Montville Township road supervisor, said there were a few trees and signs down throughout the township. He said the west branch of the Rocky River wasn’t overflowing yet, but there may be flooding if the rain continues.

The Cleveland area and northeast coast of Ohio were slammed the hardest by the storm, which had sustained winds of 46 mph and 60 mph gusts in downtown Cleveland. A section of Interstate 90 was closed because of flooding from Lake Erie.

Statewide, at least 250,000 customers were without power and hundreds of schools were closed or delayed. The season’s first snow came to some parts of Ohio overnight.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Contact Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com. Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.

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The Gazette is Medina County's daily local news source, serving the community since 1832. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.