MIAMI COUNTY — High winds swept across the area on Saturday afternoon and evening causing widespread damage.
Reports of poles, wires and trees down, with resulting power outages had area fire departments and law enforcement agencies overwhelmed with calls for service. As of 11 a.m. Sunday morning, DP&L reported approximately 500 customers in Miami County were still without power, and thousands more throughout the Miami Valley remained without electricity. Pioneer Electric showed all power restored to customers by 11 a.m. Sunday.
Some of the most significant damage in the northern portion of Miami County included a line of DP&L power poles knocked down along Experiment Farm Road, stretching from near Farrington Road to near Eldean Road. Experiment Farm Road remained closed as of Sunday, according to Miami County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Todd Tennant, with the poles still stretched across the roadway and three cars trapped in the debris. Tennant said DP&L workers told him Sunday that the road likely would be closed through Wednesday in order to make all repairs.
Heavy damage also was sustained to a storage barn at Skinner Painting on U.S. 36 just west of Piqua.
On Saturday, the Miami County 911 dispatch center was, for a time, unable to place an outgoing call to contact power companies, and others, due to the high volume of incoming calls.
Along with high winds, snow squalls reduced visibility to near zero in places at times Saturday.
According to Tennant, the sheriff’s office alone received more than 60 calls Saturday, ranging from road obstructions due to downed power lines, to trees and debris, to vehicle accidents from the weather. Tennant said weather issues continued into Sunday morning, with a rollover crash on Nashville Road from black ice on the roadway. The driver was uninjured and her 14-year-old grandson was taken to the hospital to be checked out. A tow truck driver on the scene of the rollover said it was his third ice-related crash since midnight Saturday.
An accident in Bethel Township on Saturday night, where a car struck a pole, resulted in injuries, as well, Tennant said.
“It’s just a disaster out there,” he said.
Tara Hastings, from our news partners at WDTN, said that maximum wind gusts during the storm reached 63 miles per hour in Dayton and a gust of 65 miles per hour was recorded in Darke County.
Calls went out to all area volunteer fire departments to man their stations on Saturday in order to assist with the high volume of calls for service. Volunteer fire departments were released to go back to normal operations shortly before 8 p.m.