Wind, storms cause damage, power outages

Outage restorations nearly complete

By Melody Vallieu -

PIQUA —High winds and heavy rain swept through the area Tuesday night, bringing with it some damage and power outages.

The weather changed drastically around 8 p.m. Tuesday night following a day already filled with winds that were aloft — or winds that were 3,000-4,000 feet up as opposed to at ground level, said Jeffrey Sites, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

Sites said a cold front coming in from Indiana on Tuesday, mixed with very strong winds aloft, caused the thunderstorms that rumbled through the county.

Sites said damaging winds of 50-60 miles per hour were recorded at the height of the storms Tuesday night. Law enforcement, fire departments and street/highway departments investigated dozens of calls over a two-hour period, according to reports.

Sites said storms such as these are not unprecedented; rather, they happen about every other year during what is referred to as “cool season,” which includes December and January. Sites pointed to thunderstorms on Christmas Day in 2015 as an example.

Sites said behind the cold front, some colder air came in overnight into the morning Wednesday, causing some slippery spots around the region.

As of Wednesday morning, DP&L reported that 321 customers were still without power; however, all power was expected to be returned shortly thereafter, according to Laurie Benger, spokesperson.

“Crews are working as quickly and safely as they can,” Benger said.

Although Benger said the numbers weren’t broken down by county of how many customers lost power, Miami County residents saw the most.

“Miami County was one of the harder hit areas for outages, with trees down on wires and other related issues,” Benger said.

Pioneer Electric Cooperative in Piqua was nearing completion of service restoration on Wednesday morning to members impacted by Tuesday’s wind storm, according to a press release from Pioneer.

At the height of the service interruptions around 9 p.m., 1,301 Pioneer members were affected. This number is about 8 percent of their consumers, the release said.

As of 7 a.m. Wednesday, there were still 23 member-consumers without power. Crews still had three broken poles to replace, but all members were to be back in service Wednesday.

The cooperative’s personnel were being assisted in their efforts by outside contract crews and tree trimming contractors, according to the release. Personnel are working as quickly as possible to get everyone back in service while maintaining safety for themselves and the public, the release said.

Weather for the rest of the week into the weekend will be challenging at times, Sites said.

“We’re looking at a roller coaster toward the weekend,” Sites said.

Thursday will see a continued chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high in the 50s in the morning, but dropping into the 20s by Friday morning.

“There could be some isolated slick spots again,” Sites said.

Friday will be cool with a high in the mid-30s.

Sites said another front coming from the north will cause freezing rain early Saturday morning until temps warm up into the mid-30s later in the day.

Outage restorations nearly complete

By Melody Vallieu

Reach Melody Vallieu at or call (935) 552-2131

Reach Melody Vallieu at or call (935) 552-2131