It will be Friday morning before electric service is restored for all of the Dayton Power & Light customers affected by Wednesday afternoon’s rowdy storms that raked much of southwest Ohio and the Miami Valley.
Those wind-packed storms brought down trees throughout the region, which brought down power lines. Debris was sent flying, especially in the Auglaize County village of Cridersville, where a roof was ripped off a business and a steeple was left bent over. In Sidney, a semitrailer was knocked over by high winds. Corn stalks were laid low in Shelby County. Hara Arena in Trotwood was heavily damaged when poles fell on the building.
At the height of the storms, 48,500 DP&L customers were left without power, said Tom Tatham, director of operations. Extensive damage was done in the northern Miami Valley, in the areas of Coldwater and Fort Recovery, where many poles will have to be replaced, he said.
Significantly high winds wreaked havoc in Montgomery, Greene and Clark counties, he said.
By 5 a.m. Thursday morning, the number of DP&L customers still without power dropped to around 7,800 — approximately 5,800 of that number in Montgomery and Greene.
“We’ll have a full day of work ahead of us,” Tatham said of what the 700 DP&L workers in the field will have to face Thursday. They’ll get help from utility crews from Tennessee and Indiana.
By Friday morning, there should only be individual outages and isolated problems remaining, he said.
Ohio Edison was reporting 40 customers in Clark still without power early Thursday morning, down from a high of 16,000 at the peak of the storms, said Tim Suter, spokesman for the utility.
All of that company’s customers affected by the storm should be back on line between noon and 2 p.m. Thursday, he said.
Following is a timeline of events that occurred as the storms entered the region:
5:05 p.m.: Dayton Power & Light is reporting 45,000 customers who have been affected by the storms. Duke is reporting 1,257 without power in Butler, and 2,234 without service in Warren.
4:45 p.m.: There are dozens of reports of trees and wires down in several areas including Upper Hillside Drive in Bellrook, South Irwin Drive in Dayton, Highland Avenue in Dayton, Westbrook Road in Trotwood, Main Street in Greenville, and on U.S. 48 in Oakwood.
4:30 p.m.: About 12,000 customers are without power in Clark and Madison counties, according to Ohio Edison. The outages are primarily concentrated west of Springfield and include North Hampton and Medway, according to Tim Suter, area manager for Ohio Edison. Suter said the bulk of the outages will be repaired within the next hour or so, but outages affecting smaller numbers of customers might take longer to restore.
4:16 p.m.: DP&L reporting more than 30,000 power outages for the region, and 20,000 of those are in Montgomery County. University of Dayton Magazine tweeted this: “What a storm. Took us by surprise (we do work in a basement) & took down part of @roeschlibrary construction fence.”
4:15 p.m.: A WHIO-TV viewer tweeted that “corn is laying flat” in the St. Henry area. Dayton Power & Light tweeted this: “DP&L crews are working to restore power following severe storms. Stay safe and away from downed lines.”
4:07 p.m.: There was an 85-mile per hour wind gust in Sidney, according to Meteorologist Jamie Simpson.
4:02 p.m.: Springfield had scattered reports of power outages and trees or branches down about 3:30 p.m. Some traffic lights were out near Springfield Regional Medical Center. The skies darkened so much as the storm approached Springfield that street lights turned on.
3:40 p.m.: DP&L is reporting 11,000 power outages throughout Montgomery County, several in other counties as well. Damaging winds possible through Springfield down to Xenia, as well as Lebanon and Wilmington, per Storm Center 7 meteorologists.
3:42 p.m.: Thunderstorm warnings extended through 4:30 p.m. for Fayette County, Clark County, Clinton County and Greene County.
3:26 p.m.: Fifty-five miles per hour wind measured at Dayton Airport.
3:09 p.m.: Thunderstorm warnings issued through 4 p.m. for Clark County, Montgomery County, Greene County, Miami County and Madison County.
3 p.m.: Storm Center 7 meteorologists say very strong winds are moving with this line of storms traveling east. Stay indoors and away from windows. Erica Collura says there are reports of multiple trees down in Mercer County, a mini-mart partial building collapse in Celina and a tree was downed on top of a car in Celina.
2:50 p.m.: Shelby County, Darke County and Miami County placed under thunderstorm warning through 3:30 p.m.
2:45 p.m.: A flood advisory has been extended through 5:45 p.m. for Shelby County, Clark County, Darke County, Logan County, Miami County and Champaign County.
2:25 p.m.: Warren County and Clinton County are under severe thunderstorm warnings through 3 p.m. today.
2:15 p.m.: A flood advisory is in effect through 5:15 p.m. today for Wayne and Union counties in Indiana and Preble County in Ohio.
2:05 p.m.: Pop up storms are occurring in Greene, Clinton and Warren counties.
2 p.m.: A severe thunderstorm warning for Auglaize and Mercer counties in Ohio and Wayne and Union counties in Indiana is in effect through 2:45 p.m. today.
1:30 p.m.: A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for the entire Southwest Ohio region until 8 p.m. today, said Meteorologist Rich Wirdzek. “Showers and thunderstorms will be on the increase as we head through the day, especially this afternoon and this evening,” he said. He said the exact timing of the storms is still unknown but put the window for possible severe weather between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. A flash flood watch is in effect for the entire area until midnight. “On top of the threat for flash flooding, we’ll have the chance for some severe weather once again with high winds and hail possible,” Wirdzek said. “The downburst, or straight line wind potential, will increase as the afternoon progresses.” He said storms will likely be more widespread than Tuesday evening.
1 p.m.: A flash flood watch has been extended for all Southwest Ohio and Southeast Indiana counties through midnight.