Sunday, August 12, 2001

Brief storm deluges Tristate

Flash-flood warnings issued

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A brief but powerful thunderstorm pounded the Tristate Saturday evening, triggering flash flood warnings for rain-weary residents in Hamilton, Warren, Clermont and Brown counties.

        Radar estimates of up to 4 inches of rain fell within two hours — generally before 10:30 p.m. — in parts of those counties, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.

        Frequent lightning strikes, downed trees and flooded basements were reported throughout the region, according to NWS and law enforcement officials.

        The majority of flooded basements reported in Hamilton County were at homes in Symmes Township, according to emergency officials.

        The heavy amount of rainfall was attributed to the slow-moving nature of the storm, NWS officials said.

        Flash-flood warnings were issued for Hamilton, Warren and Clermont counties until 10:45 p.m., and in Brown County until 11:30 p.m.

        An official with the Warren County emergency dispatch said it received a flurry of calls reporting high water throughout the county, reports of localized flooding in Deerfield Township and Mason, and numerous lightning strikes.

        The state Department of Transportation was called to Ohio 22 and Ohio 3 in Warren County for reports of a mudslide blocking the two roads.

        Officials at Paramount's Kings Island reported 60 mph wind gusts but no storm-related damage at the amusement park in Mason.

        The director of emergency management in Warren County, Frank Young, activated storm warning sirens in his county after he spotted a funnel cloud behind his home off Striker Road in Hamilton Township at 7:52 p.m. There were no touchdowns reported.

        In South Lebanon, hail and downed trees were reported around 9 p.m.

        The only injury reported in Warren County came when a woman directing traffic at the ATP fell in ankle-high water.

        Clermont County Consolidated Communications Center — which dispatches police, fire and rescue for the county — reported 20 active fire calls and another 20 emergency-related calls at 9:30 p.m.

        Officials there said the north and eastern parts of the county were hardest hit.

        The chimney and gutters were reportedly blown off of a home at 2237 Corinthian Court in Anderson Township after a lightning strike.

        The Ohio State Highway Patrol's broadcast tower at the Batavia Post in Clermont County was also struck by lightning. Damage reports were unavailable.

        Saturday's storm comes less than a month after three Hamilton County people — two in Fairfax and one in Symmes Township — were killed after as much as 8 inches of rain fell in less than an hour on July 17, causing flash flooding, power outages and road closings.
       A weak low pressure system will move through the area today, bringing lower temperatures — highs in the low to mid-80s — and a 30 percent chance of rain, the NWS said.

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