The National Weather Service has issued a high wind advisory for the Portsmouth area through Thursday evening.
A deepening low pressure system will move into the area, and this front may be accompanied by strong thunderstorms with the potential to produce damaging winds.
Wind gusts of 45-55 mph are expected with gusts as high as 60 mph possible.
“We have a high wind warning that’s in effect for the area through Thursday with wind gusts potentially over 60 mph. This squall line has spawned tornados in the more southern portion of the line,” Kim Carver, director of Scioto County Emergency Management Agency said.
“We are going to be keeping a watchful eye to the sky, tracking winds to make sure we can get as much warning time available to people if they (the National Weather Service) would issue a tornado warning for the area.”
The wet thawing soil and the recent ice storm damage are going to increase the likelihood that the anticipated strong winds may cause more damage in the area. She expressed there was a potential for more power outages because of fallen trees.
The National Weather Service warns that the recent ice storm across the area and the saturated ground from rain and melting snow have left many trees susceptible to downed limbs and uprooting.
She emphasized the need to have a severe weather plan.
“As springtime gets closer and everyone is looking forward to that time, we just want to remind people that severe weather occurs during this time and it would be a good time to talk with everyone in the family about their severe weather plan,” Carver said.
A severe weather plan should include the location of a tornado shelter, have a flashlight(s), a battery-powered lamp and fresh batteries, and a battery-powered radio or television, Drinking water and instructions for manually opening power-operated garage doors and a manual can opener are also important points.
“People should be as prepared as they can to make sure in times of the potential for bad weather they have the availability to pick up a watch or a warning issued through the area,” Carver said.
In an issued statement AEP said it builds its lines in accordance with National Electric Safety Code (NESC) standards to withstand wind speeds of up to approximately 40 mph, and power outages could occur as a result of the predicted wind levels.
If a power outage occurs customers in Ohio should call the AEP’s toll-free number at 1-800-672-2231or 1-800-277-2177.
WAYNE ALLEN can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 208.