If you can read this, county did not wash away

LISBON – By the time you read this story, the county will either have been battered by a second severe thunderstorm in as many days, or the storm will turn out not to have been as bad as expected and any chance of more flooding has passed.

Either way, Columbiana County Emergency Management Agency Director Luke Newbold said they remained on stand-by to assist but it was not needed, at least not as of Thursday afternoon.

According to Newbold, 1.5 to 2 inches of rain fell in the county between 6 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, and the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the county because another major thunderstorm was supposed to move through the area last night, bringing with it the potential for another 1 to 2 inches of rain.

The only flooding from Wednesday’s storm occurred in Wellsville after some storm sewer drains in the area of 10th Street became clogged with debris. Newbold said this resulted in the street being closed for about an hour until the drains were unclogged with a backhoe.

Most of the flooding occurred between 10th and 15th streets in Wellsville, but the creek near Anderson Avenue overflowed its banks, sending water into the basements of two homes. Newbold said a total of five basements in Wellsville needed to be pumped out by the fire department.

While the EMA’s assistance was not needed, Newbold said they remained in contact with Wellsville, which informed them of the damage. The local chapter of the Red Cross was also on stand-by in case any shelters needed to be opened.

As far as the rest of the county, a stream in Salineville overflowed its banks Wednesday but no damage had been reported, and some flooding was reported on Bandy Road, Knox Township. Newbold said a caller reported seeing a possible funnel cloud forming off state Route 45 in Salem Township, but there was no report of any actual tornado.

There were also reports of downed trees and power lines throughout the county from Wednesday’s storm, which also knocked out electricity to 2,254 Ohio Edison customers in the county, with power restored to all but 10 customers by mid-afternoon on Thursday. AEP reported no remaining power outages as of 1 p.m. Thursday.

Newbold is asking anyone with knowledge of storm damage either to call the EMA or report it to their local officials so the information can be passed to the them.

“Anything that happens we want to report it to the state,” which will use the information to determine whether there is enough to seek a federal disaster declaration for Ohio, he said.

“My only advice during these types of storms is stay indoors and away from windows when they are accompanied by lightning,” Newbold said.