More than 5,000 customers in Lucas County remain without power today after Wednesday’s winds whipped through the area, according to a Toledo Edison spokesman.
Approximately 5,100 customers in Lucas County remain without power and about 1,800 customers without service in Toledo, said Toledo Edison spokesman Chris Eck.
Wednesday’s winds caused widespread damage and about 26,000 customers to lose power, Mr. Eck said.
Power may have been lost at two houses on a street, but crews must respond to every isolated incident, he said. Responding to each outage takes longer for the crews, Mr. Eck said.
“It’s not like there’s one big circuit,” Mr. Eck said.
Power is expected to be restored to all customers by 11 p.m. Friday, he said, adding residents should stay away from downed power lines and check tree branches, as the lines can sometimes become tangled.
To report an outage, call 888-544-4877.
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Sylvania Northview High School closed today
Sylvania's Northview High School lost power late morning Wednesday, but teachers were able to get through the full day without much interruption, Superintendent Scott Nelson said.
The high school remained closed today, but power was restored this evening and classes will be held Friday..
"We're playing it by ear," Nelson said earlier in the day. "(Toledo Edison) is dealing with such widespread stuff that we certainly understand."
Hill View Elementary School also lost power Wednesday, but it was restored quickly enough that students were able to attend class Thursday with no issues.
Northview students will not have to make up for lost time.
"In regards to the state requirements, which are on an hourly basis, we far exceed the minimum number of hours required by the state of Ohio," Mr. Nelson said.
He added he can't recall a time in his 18 years with the district when the wind gusted as strong as it did Wednesday.
Crashes, fires, and road closures
ODOT is reporting several road closures, as well.
State Rte. 64 in both directions between Monclova Road and Reed Road is closed due to downed power lines, ODOT reported.
US-20 in both directions between Lima City Road and Oregon Road is closed due to low hanging lower lines. The expected re-opening time is unknown, according to ODOT.
There are downed powerlines on US-23 at Devil’s Hole, ODOT reported. The reopening time is not known.
State Rte. 2 between State Rte. 579 and I-280 is also closed due to downed power lines, according to ODOT.
Of the 221 calls for service Wednesday, there were 79 fire-related calls, which included wires down, according to Toledo Fire spokesman Pvt. Sterling Rahe. That is a slight increase from the department’s average of 160 calls for service, Private Rahe said.
The department also responded Wednesday to three weather-related structure fires.
Firefighters responded to an accidental fire at a home in the 2100 block of Forest Avenue from the fallen power lines, Private Rahe said.
A large limb brought down wires about 1:58 p.m. in the 1800 block of Balkan Place and caused a small basement fire. Firefighters quickly extinguished it, Private Rahe said.
Smoke was also reported at a residence, an address which was not immediately available, following downed wires.
Private Rahe said everything has “normalized” today.
Jerusalem Township Fire Chief Tony Parasiliti said several roads were closed due to downed power poles and lines.
State Rte. 2 remains closed due to downed power lines, but will hopefully be opened later this afternoon, he said.
Additionally, North Curtis Road is closed due to a downed power pole, he said.
Jerusalem Elementary School was closed today because it lost power after a tractor-trailer truck struck one of the wires that was hanging down early this morning. A power pole then started leaning in, he added.
He is unsure if power would be restored to the school by tomorrow.
Chief Parasiliti reminded residents to be respectful of the barricades set up around the area.
One driver, he said, drove around an established barricade when a wire got caught on the hood of his vehicle.
“What if that would have been energized?” the chief pointed out.
A majority of residents, however, have power restored, Mr. Parasiliti said.
Toledo Police also responded to multiple weather-related calls, including two injury crashes involving tractor-trailers.
The driver of one tractor-trailer, who’s name was not listed on a police report, was transported by ambulance to the University of Toledo Medical Center for minor injuries Wednesday following a rollover crash on southbound I-75 at the DiSalle Bridge, according to a police report.
The tractor-trailer was blown over by the heavy winds and was blocking two lanes of southbound traffic, police reported. Southbound I-75 was shut down for around an hour.
Another tractor-trailer driver was transported to St. Charles Hospital for evaluation after he had minor cuts to his head when he vehicle over turned Wednesday on the I-280 Skyway Bridge.
Milder winds expected Friday
Although significantly calmer winds are being reported today in the Northwest Ohio area, winds may pick up as cooler air moves in Friday — but nothing compared to Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
Winds out of Toledo Executive Airport are around 4 miles per hour, the weather service reported. On Wednesday, Toledo saw gusts near 60 miles-per-hour.
Winds may blow around 15 to 20 miles per hour, and gusts could reach around 25 to 30 mils per hour, said Zach Sefcovic, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Cleveland.
While strong winds like Wednesday's are not rare for the area, Mr. Sefcovic expects them more in the fall because of changing air masses.
“For it to happen in the spring, it's not super uncommon, but it almost felt like a fall day yesterday,” he said.
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