Thousands go another day without power, water after twisters
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Thousands in the Dayton area affected by the Memorial Day storms went another day Thursday without power and water, crews worked to clear debris-clogged roads, and police continued to search for a woman who disappeared around the time of the storms.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said 71-year-old Catherine Clayburn, who has dementia, left her home in Dayton a few hours before the tornadoes and has not been seen since. Local law enforcement has conducted an intensive search and has called on a national organization that helps find missing people.
Dayton Power & Light reported that around 19,500 were still without electricity Thursday. The utility said 750 extra crew members from six states are helping out, doubling the usual number on the job.
Crews shut down Interstate 75 in both directions at one point so utility lines could be untangled and repaired.
Meanwhile, the state asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine whether 10 affected counties are eligible for federal money for recovery.
Free bottled water is being distributed at stations throughout the area, and shelters are open where residents can shower. The city lifted water boil-advisories for some areas Thursday. There has been no word on when water could be restored.
Many businesses remained closed, including the sprawling Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek.
In the northwest Dayton suburb of Trotwood, officials reports that 59 homes were destroyed and nearly 500 damaged. As many as 1,000 buildings are damaged in the southeast suburb of Beavercreek.
At least 17 twisters were confirmed in Ohio on Monday night and early Tuesday, including several in the Dayton area that were responsible for the heavy damage. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed.
One person, an 82-year-old man in Celina, northwest of Dayton, was killed and more than 100 were injured.
The state has freed up $150,000 for each of the three counties that have been declared disaster areas to provide immediate assistance to low-income residents. Those counties include Montgomery, which includes Dayton, Greene and Mercer.
“These storms arrived with an intensity and ferocity not often seen, and caused a lot of devastation,” said Kimberly Hall, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
The nation’s largest military installation, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, reported that 12 houses were destroyed and as many as 150 damaged in a complex housing mostly military members and their families.
A section of the adjacent National Museum of the United States Air Force was closed Thursday morning because one of the storms damaged part of a hangar.
This story has been updated to correct the storms to tornadoes, not hurricanes, and the age of the Celina tornado victim to 82, instead of 81.