By Maggie Thurber | Special to Ohio Watchdog
Ohio Gov. John Kasich as declared a state of emergency and requested federal aid following severe storms and high winds that knocked out power for approximately 1-million power company customers across two-thirds of the state.
The outages, which could take another five to seven days to repair, along with the expected high temperatures in the coming week, could create a crisis situation for the elderly, young children and those with medical conditions.
“I’m very concerned with the problems created by the combination of power outages and severe heat, and so I’ve declared an emergency for all of Ohio so that state resources and personnel can help local governments meet the needs and challenges that they face. Ohioans in affected areas should, if possible, stay tuned to their radios or TVs for information on where they can go for assistance. Those without power can call their local 211 numbers for information on where to turn for help. Folks should also knock on their neighbors’ doors to make sure they’re OK and (they should) look out for those who they know might need some extra help. Together we’ll get through this,” said Kasich.
The State of Emergency Proclamation can be viewed here.
“I shared my concerns with the president that we have a serious situation and will need extra federal help. Massive power outages combined with severe heat create dangerous conditions, especially for the elderly and those with medical needs. The state has been working closely with local emergency management officials to meet immediate needs and going forward we need to make sure we have every available asset to protect Ohioans,” said Kasich.
In the letter requesting federal disaster assistance, Kasich outlined the situation:
- As of 1 p.m. Saturday , there are still nearly 1 million customer outages.
- Full power restoration is not expected for about a week.
- Power outages are disrupting communications across the state. Multi-Agency Regional Communication Systems ( towers are out in 10 counties.
- Several 911 centers and sheriff’s offices are running on generators.
- The Ohio National Guard has been activated.
- Generator supplies are being exhausted and the state has no generator supply.
- Water commodities will decrease as power continues to be out.
- Neighboring states also are affected, increasing the likelihood of reduced resources.
The letter specifically requests a 54 pack of generators with a Type 3 Emergency Response Package and enough water for 500,000 people for five days. The estimated cost of the assistance is $5 million.
Residents without power can call their local 211 numbers for information and assistance, or 911 in an emergency. Information is also available online at http://www.ema.ohio.gov/and on Twitter at #OHwx and #severeweather.