Sunday, July 16, 2000

Power restored after storm


Tristate cleans up in downpour's wake

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP — Power was restored Saturday to nearly all of 40,000-plus households in Greater Cincinnati that went dark because of a powerful storm.

        Some Tristate residents spent Saturday picking up in the aftermath of Friday's storm that hit Butler, Hamilton, Warren, Clermont and Brown counties.

        At the Office Depot warehouse here, county engineers and inspectors cleaned up the collapsed structure.

        During Friday's downpour, rain water accumulated on the building's roof and caused a cave-in that slightly injured eight employees who were hit by falling debris.

        Sixty employees in the call center of the large warehouse and distribution center escaped from the building just before the roof fell in.

        West Chester Township Fire Lt. Paul Kreiner said workers are trying to clear up the soaked roofing, debris and other materials before making an official determination that rain water caused the cave-in. He said officials have found no evidence to indicate otherwise.

        Judy Carter, assistant administrator for West Chester Township, said the township's next priority is to get the warehouse up and running.

        A damage estimate was not available Saturday.

        “Our goal is to get the Office Depot facility back into operation through utility hook-ups, water and sewer,” said Ms. Carter.

        The goal for Cinergy officials and workers was similar: Restore power as quickly as possible. All but 150 households had electricity restored by Saturday afternoon, said Cinergy officials.

        Kathy Meinke, spokeswoman for Cinergy, said more than 40,000 homes and businesses lost power between late Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning.

        Neighborhoods affected included Roselawn, Oakley, Forest Park, Bethel, Batavia, Finneytown, Fairfield, Middletown, Hamilton, Brentwood, Springdale and Brown County.

        Ms. Meinke said the power failures were caused by high winds and lightning, which knocked down trees and damaged power lines.

        According to officials at the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, Ohio, the storm dumped up to 2 inches of rain in northeastern Hamilton County.

        No rain is forecast today or Monday. Both days will be mostly sunny with today's high in the lower 80s and Monday's high in the mid-80s.

       



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