Mother Nature slammed Wyandot County on Friday afternoon with 80 mph winds, lightning and heavy rains. The powerful storm knocked down trees and power lines and left thousands of residents without power.
“We had numerous power lines down in different areas of the county,” Sheriff Mike Hetzel said. “We had a lot of trees down and everything from semi trucks being picked up and blown over to people being trapped in the basement of a house after a tree fell down. We also had numerous crashes.”
A woman was trapped inside her home in the town of Wyandot, Hetzel said.
AEP Ohio representative Dave Wheeler reported 3,500 Wyandot County customers were without power Friday.
“It’s all storm-related,” Wheeler said during a phone interview Friday evening. “We had a little advance notice and we knew it was coming so we had crews in position. We will have crews coming in from other areas and from our sister companies to help get power restored.”
AEP crews worked throughout the night and will continue working today, Wheeler said.
The power outages spanned to neighboring counties, with Wheeler confirming 9,800 customers were without power in Kenton on Friday, 3,000 in Bucyrus, 9,1000 in Tiffin and 17,600 in Findlay.
Locally, Wyandot Memorial Hospital also was without power Friday.
“We had a partial power outage involving our new addition,” WMH Director of Nursing Marty Gray said. “Power went out a little after 4:30 (p.m.) and it lasted about 20 minutes. Our emergency room and front lobby area lost power, but by then, most of the doctors’ offices had been cleared out.”
Two trauma cases had to be directed to other area hospitals during the outage.
“We had no CT (computerized tomography), but we had everything back up and running in about an hour,” Gray said.
There were no tornadoes reported in Wyandot County, but a funnel cloud was spotted near Interstate 75 in the Findlay area, Hetzel said.
The village of Forest is asking that traffic be kept to emergency personnel only. Residents are asked to stay home and one attempt to enter or exit the village while officials assess the damages and remove debris from the major streets and roads in the village. Village officials will notify residents when it is safe to resume normal traffic.
“We can confirm that there has been some injuries and damages due to the storm, but no fatalities,” village officials said in a written statement.
An emergency shelter is available for affected residents at Gormley Park’s all-weather pavilion.
Forest residents are asked to report injuries or damage by calling the fire department at 419-273-2520, the village offices at 419-273-2500 or by dialing 911.
By CHANDA NEELY