Crews Working To Restore Power After Violent Storms


UPDATED: Thursday July 11, 2013 5:24 PM

Power crews are working to restore power to nearly 100,000 customers still in the dark after a wave of violent storms swept through Ohio on Wednesday.

The severe weather brought winds of 70 mph or more that downed power lines, tore off roofs and dumped even more rain on an already saturated state.

Many of those homes were in central Ohio.

In Gahanna, some residents were without power for about 16 hours. They were excited to see crews arriving on Thursday morning.

In south Columbus, one resident told 10TV that he was still waiting for power to be restored.

Robert Stewart has been running his generator all night. Branches fell on lines along Welch Avenue and took out his power.

"I come out and all of this was here, and then the electric went out," said Stewart.

According to a news release from AEP, the organization has restored power to more than 67,000 homes.

Across the state, 152,000 customers were without power early Thursday morning. As of 4 p.m., that number had dropped to just over 8,000.

The power company updated their online map to include estimated restoration times.

The power was still out to most of the businesses at an industrial park along Westbelt Drive in Hilliard.

For some, the damage was so extensive they are closed indefinitely, and employees were told to stay home. For the more fortunate ones, the clean-up has started.

There were roofs ripped-off of buildings, water-logged warehouses, and shattered storefronts.

The damage from one storefront to the next ranged from minor to complete destruction.

At Kaesar Compressors, Jeff Hatfield said four employees were inside when the storm hit, with two workers arriving just 15 seconds before powerful winds ripped away part of an interior wall.

"I hate to even say it, it sounds so cliché - but it was like a freight train. I mean, that's what it sounded like," Hatfield said. "And when you see the aftermath, when you walked out to the back of the building and probably a third of the roof was gone and the warehouse was in a mess."

In northeast Ohio, the storms tore down trees and power lines, toppled a section of wall at a commuter train station and trapped motorists in high water on interstates.

In northwest Ohio, the high winds flipped tractor-trailer trucks on Interstate 75.

At least four tornadoes reportedly touched down during the storms, according to the National Weather Service.

No injuries were reported.

Flood warnings are still in effect for some counties, but clear skies are predicted for Thursday.

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