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Storm spares most of county

October 31, 2012
Salem News

LISBON - Hurricane Sandy has come and gone and the impact on Columbiana County was minimal.

Aside from water in some basements, there was no flooding, and only about 1,000 households lost power, according to Edie Dillard, interim director of the county Emergency Management Agency.

"This was nothing more than we would get from a heavy thunderstorm," she said.

While Hurricane Sandy hammered the East Coast, the impact was much less in Ohio. For example, the National Weather Service predicted the county would receive two to four inches of rain Monday night, but less than an inch of precipitation actually fell.

"I think because the rain was steady and not heavy, I think that helped," Dillard said.

And while wind gusts of up to 60 mph were predicted, Dillard said the average wind speed Monday night was 24 mph, although occasional gusts may have reached 60 mph.

This was a far cry from September 2008, when 70 mph winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ike knocked out power to 38,000 households in the county, many of whom were still without electricity a week later.

Although power outages occurred throughout the county, the highest concentrations appeared to be in the Salem-Lisbon area and the eastern section of Middleton Township, Dillard said. Most of the households were expected to have electricity back within 24 hours.

Dillard remained at the EMA until 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and left after the weather service canceled the flash flood warning for the county. While there, she kept in contact with county commissioners, while first responders and the local chapter of the American Red Cross remained on stand-by in case they were needed.

Dillard said 3/4-inches of rain fell overnight on top of the nearly two inches of rainfall from the previous three days, which could still result in flooding along streams and rivers, especially with more rain in the forecast over the next couple of days.

"We don't know what's going to happen when all of the runoff goes into the rivers. We'll have to wait and see," she said.

 
 

 

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