By Frank Lewis and Portia Williams
A huge tree that uprooted and came crashing down on three cars at the corner of Scioto Trail and Kinney’s Lane in Portsmouth may have been the most significant event of the storms that struck the area Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.
“It looks like we may have escaped any significant damage with that line of storms that moved through in the overnight hours,” Scioto County Emergency Management Agency Director Kim Carver said. “There were some tornadoes that spawned off of it over in the Dayton area. The National Weather Service will be going out and doing a field survey there to identify if it was a tornado in a couple of communities just west of Dayton.”
Carver said the peculiarities that accompanied the squall line that moved in overnight were that it had weak and strong points, and from what she has observed, the Scioto County area escaped the strong points of that front.
“We did have wind gusts over 50 miles per hour,” Carver said on Friday morning. “We did have some trees that were downed and some scattered power outages. We got about an inch of rain on top of the snow pack melt and the watershed, but for all purposes the watershed is carrying the water. Our creeks are running a little hot this (Friday) morning; a couple out of banks and a couple of near bank-full, but by and large there’s no widespread localized flooding and only localized power outages.”
Around 11 a.m. Friday, AEP Ohio was reporting 194 homes without power in Scioto County.
“We tracked the storm past 2 o’clock last (Thursday) night, and the main part of it was out of the area,” Carver said. “We had no fire departments that were out doing any tree removals in the overnight hours to an extent, so I feel fortunate.”
Carver said part of a line that came through the area was more severe south of the Ohio River in Kentucky.
Cres from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 9 removed debris from US 23 Friday. Southbound US 23 saw one lane traffic at the Boyd-Greenup county line, as crews worked to remove rock slide debris that infiltrated the roadway Allen Blair, public information officer for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 9, said the crews were prepared for timely responses.
“While we had crews and equipment ready to respond, we saw little to no downed trees, and we had no road closures. There were several rock slides, one of which blocked southbound US 23 at the Boyd and Greenup county line early this morning. One lane was open by rush hour and we should finish cleanup this afternoon,” he said.
According to KYTC District 9, an excavator was called in to help crews remove the remaining rock along the shoulder of the roadway.
Blair said the rock slides were probably due to the heavy rain, and continuous freezing and thawing from the from winter.
“Expansion and contraction of ground loosens rocks and the rain or wet conditions can lead to rockfalls,” he said.
Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman had a different issue to deal with Friday morning.
“I just got done cleaning out a drain at Rosemount,” Opperman said. “We had two catch basins that were plugged up that were holding water on the road.”
Other than those issues, Opperman said there had been no significant damage that his office had been informed about by mid-morning.
“AEP called us today and told us they had a broken pole on Bonser Road,” Opperman said. “It was across the road. And they asked us if they could keep the road closed And we didn’t have a problem with them keeping the road closed until they got it replaced. But other than that I haven’t really heard of anything.”
Carver warned that the wind advisory was remaining until 6 p.m. on Friday, and high winds could still cause damage, before that front moved out.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt. Portia Williams can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.