OHIO VALLEY — Severe thunderstorms and high winds swept across several states Friday night including parts of Ohio, leaving thousands of residents without power, including many in Gallia and Meigs counties. Regional power companies are working to restore electricity to those impacted by the storm — especially in light of another 100-degree day expected Saturday. The potential for a dangerous mix of high heat and no power has organizations like the American Red Cross gearing up to assist.
In light of the expected heat, the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office reported late Friday night that if power is not restored early Saturday, Gallia County residents who are elderly or have medical conditions and need a cool place to stay may contact emergency services at 740-446-3126. The American Red Cross is going to be on standby to open a cooling station if there is a need.
Although the Ohio Valley did not see much hail produced by the storm, strong winds and lightning were responsible for massive damage all across the area. One of the hardest hit areas in Gallia County was the Pine Street Cemetery in Gallipolis — a cemetery with historical significance as many of Gallipolis’ earliest settlers are buried there. Trees were toppled or uprooted completely, and head stones were broken throughout the cemetery.
Friday’s storms caused significant damage to public property such as the Gallipolis City Park, as well as private businesses and residences located throughout the Ohio Valley.
The Sheriff’s Office advises those in Gallia County with moderate to severe property damage to their residence or business only, to contact emergency services Saturday at 740-446-3126. Emergency responders will be out in the county assessing damage beginning at 9 a.m.
American Electric Power (AEP) of Ohio reported roughly 243,000 customers without power across Ohio, including more than 14,000 in northern Hancock County, nearly 19,000 in western Allen County and more than 145,000 in Franklin County in central Ohio.
Duke Energy also reported more than 155,000 outages in southwest Ohio, including 70,000 without power in Hamilton County.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.