Severe weather, which included 65 to 70 mile per hour straight line winds, caused significant damage and power outages throughout Fayette County Thursday evening.
According to Dayton Power & Light (DP&L), the most damage in its service area occurred in Fayette and Clinton counties, and impacted nearly 15,000 customers. As of Friday afternoon, there were still more than 200 Fayette County residents without power.
“Fayette County got hit pretty hard,” said Mary Ann Kabel, director of corporate communications with DP&L. “Over 30 transmission poles were impacted by the straight line winds. Crews have been out since last night working hard, and we hope that the individuals still without power will be restored (Friday). They are out replacing those poles.”
Approximately 20 poles came down Thursday night along the US 35 bypass between State Route 753 and State Route 41, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. Also, two semi-trucks were blown off of the road while traveling on US 35. No injuries were reported.
“We’re still assessing some of the damage,” said Stanforth. “The southern part of the county was hit particularly hard. We also have several reports of damage to houses, such as siding and roof damage.”
Local firefighters also quickly contained a fire at a vacant house on Snowhill Road Thursday evening.
Although it may have felt like tornadic winds to many in the community, Fayette County Emergency Management Agency Director Melissa Havens said Friday afternoon that there was no evidence of a tornado.
“According to the National Weather Service, there was no rotation on their radar,” Havens said. “But with straight line winds of 65 to 70 miles per hour, sometimes people don’t realize how strong that can be. When I was on Snowhill Road (Thursday), I actually watched a trampoline fly into the air and it caught a power line and snapped it in half. But with a tornado, it has to meet certain criteria, and right now we don’t have any evidence of that.”
As of Friday afternoon, 10 transmission lines were still down, Havens said.
“Especially in the southern part of the county, DP&L informed that some places could be without power for two to three days,” Havens said. “Now hopefully, it’s earlier than that. But because of the transmission lines that are down, it’s a possibility. We just want people to be prepared for that possibility.”
Havens said that if some community members are worried about long-term outages, they can call the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 740-335-6170.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica