State crews respond to widespread damage in Northwest Ohio
ODOT working to restore transportation connections
Click to view a 30 sec video slideshow of ODOT's efforts
TOLEDO (Monday, June 7, 2010) - In the aftermath of Saturday’s deadly tornado that claimed the lives of five people in Northwest Ohio and severely damaged a number of buildings, state crews continue to work around-the-clock today to restore transportation and safety services to the hardest hit areas.
Following Governor Ted Strickland’s emergency declaration on Sunday, the Ohio Department of Transportation is pulling work crews from across an eight-county region to focus on clearing debris and repairing damaged safety signage along State Route 795 near the town of Milbury (Wood County).
ODOT crews have been using heavy equipment to clear large tree branches and pieces of metal along SR 795 from Oregon Road to Interstate 280. By the end of the day, ODOT was able to restore the SR 795 connection to I-280, which will help open the gateway for additional assistance coming into the region.
Due to several large electric transmission towers being down - leaving wires across the roadway - it is unknown when SR 795 from I-280 to State Route 51 will open. ODOT is working with First Energy to find contractors to build a temporary road to access the five transmission towers that fell just east of I-280.
In neighboring Lucas County, ODOT crews are working along State Route 64 to clear an extensive number of downed trees from the Oak Openings Preserve Metro Park and the Maumee State Forest. These clean-up efforts are expected to go on for the next day or two.
ODOT has also been in contact with Toledo Metcalf Airport, which isn't too far from the heavily-damaged area. The airport sustained only minor damage, which has allowed flights to continue and helps with any additional assistance accessing the region.
According to weather services, two bands of strong thunderstorms and tornados ripped through this area of Northwest Ohio late Saturday night and into early Sunday morning. Areas from Fulton County to eastern Wood County were hit hardest in the severe weather, which is being blamed for widespread damage, seven confirmed deaths, and as many as 30 people injured.
For more information contact: Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640
or Theresa Pollick, ODOT District 2 Public Information Office, at (419) 373-4428.