By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News As soon as Brad Gilbert entered the room, there were groans. The Wood County Emergency Management Agency director was not on the agenda, so his unexpected arrival at the Wood County Commissioners meeting this morning could only mean one thing. There were problems. They don’t call Gilbert the “grim reaper” for nothing. After 10 inches of rain in some areas of the county this week, the county was overwhelmed. And a revised report from the National Weather Service suggested that the problem would get worse before it got better. “They are predicting a major flood stage tonight into tomorrow morning,” Gilbert said. The biggest problems are being seen in Wayne, where storm sewers couldn’t keep up with the rain, and are expected next to hit Pemberville, where two branches of the Portage River come together in the downtown area. By time the water crests tonight or Friday morning, it will likely be in the basements of the downtown businesses, Gilbert said. Just this morning, Gilbert said, fire crews from Pemberville, Bradner and Wayne had to use a boat to rescue a woman from her home that was surrounded by high water along Ohio 281. “It’s an act of Mother Nature. There’s no way to control it,” he said. And after multiple consecutive days of heavy rains, especially in southern Wood County, the ditches and fields are their limits. “There’s no where for it to go,” Wood County Commissioner Doris Herringshaw said. The EMA office has been in contact with the Pemberville mayor and fire chief, and has been asked by Wayne officials…Read More
The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down at about 9:06 Wednesday night just southwest of Pemberville, near Bowling Green. With top winds of 74 mph, the tornado was ranked EF 0 (zero), the lowest on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The Weather Service, which said the finding was preliminary, calculated the width at a maximum of 20 yards with a path of just over 70 yards.
By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News For a couple hours Wednesday night, local residents sat in their basements with their eyes glued to weather radar. They tried to decipher the path of the tornadoes from the west, bracing for their possible arrival here. But when it was over, Bowling Green and Wood County survived the storm unscathed, according to local emergency response officials. “What a crazy night,” Wood County Emergency Management Agency Director Brad Gilbert said after the tornado warning was lifted for the county at 9:30 p.m. “It was a strange phenomenon tonight.” The tornado warning was followed by a thunderstorm warning and heavy rains. “We can handle that,” Gilbert said. Though tornadoes reportedly touched down in several places to the west, they seemed to have lost their punch when they reached this area. The National Weather Service reported “a lot of rotation on the radar,” Gilbert said. And trained weather spotters and firefighters called in a lot of strange weather. “I received a lot of reports of wall clouds, funnel clouds, but no tornado touching down. So that’s good.” Normally such weather is accompanied with lighting and heavy winds – but not tonight, he added. So Gilbert said he did not even get reports of power outages from the storm. “The good news is, as the storms came into Wood County the tornadoes dissipated,” said Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn. “I’m not aware of any damage.” But the county was prepared for the worst, with trained weather spotters, firefighters and ham radio operators on guard, the sheriff said. Bowling Green Fire Division had firefighters watching the…
Tornado warning issued for Wood County. National Weather Service has extended warning to 9:30 p.m. The county has been under tornado watch for more than two hours. Residents advised to take shelter. Heavy weather including a tornado reported in Whitehouse. Tornadoes reportedly touched down in counties west of here.
By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Wood County is parched after getting half its normal summer rainfall this year – leaving yards brown, corn stalks scrawny, and some farmers short on patience. Every once in awhile, the dark clouds build and rain starts hitting the thirsty earth, but most hints of precipitation have turned into a tease. Rainfall for May, June and July in Bowling Green added up to 5.64 inches, according to records kept at the Bowling Green Wastewater Treatment Plant. That is about half of the average 10.7 inches seen here during those three months. The stunted crops and crunchy lawns are the most obvious victims, affecting local farmers and grass mowing businesses. But the hot dry summer has been good for others, like ODOT’s road construction schedule, local swimming pool attendance, and ball seasons that haven’t been disrupted by rain. Bowling Green’s water supply has not been adversely affected since the Maumee River watershed covers a huge area, according to Brian O’Connell, director of utilities for the city. “Even under severe drought conditions, there’s a lot of water that drains into the Maumee River,” O’Connell said. However, the rainfall on individual farm fields has left corn and soybean crops hurting, according to Jonanthan Haines, of the Farm Service Agency. The spring started out strong, he said. “We had the rainfall in April and May. We were actually a little too wet.” Farmers were itching to get their crops in the fields as summer got near. “They had a window to plant at the end of May,” Haines said. There were a handful of dry days,…
From BRADLEY J. GILBERT, WOOD COUNTY EMA DIRECTOR Overnight, the Storm Prediction Center has only slightly narrowed the “MODERATE” risk area but a small portion of Southern Wood County remains in the official “MODERATE” risk area. Of course, this does not mean that the rest of the county is free from the increased severe weather threat. At this hour, there is a large area of showers and thunderstorms moving southeasterly through Indiana and will likely miss our area. Forecast officials will need to see how the atmosphere “resets” after this mornings round of activity clears the Indiana/Ohio area before we can get better details on the severe storms later on this evening. Current thoughts on timing shows the main push of storms into our area in the late evening towards midnight with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible throughout the day. The exact path of storm development tonight will also depend on how far north a warm front travels today. There is some concern with the possible development of a derecho as well as isolated tornadoes with this storm system this evening. The tornado threat will be somewhat isolated depending on the track of the low pressure system and accompanying warm and cold fronts. Again, extremely strong straight-line winds are going to be the major concern.
From BRADLEY J. GILBERT, WOOD COUNTY EMA DIRECTOR A fairly large area of showers and thunderstorms are moving through the area this morning (Wednesday, June 15) from a large area of severe weather to our west last night. This activity will not be severe. This activity will also release some energy from the atmosphere which could reduce our chances of widespread severe weather this afternoon and evening. The SPC still has NW Ohio in the “Slight” risk category for severe weather this afternoon and evening. Isolated areas of strong to severe thunderstorms will still be possible later today. The primary threats will be damaging straight-line winds and hail. Secondary threats will be an isolated tornado, heavy rain, and frequent lightning. Again, showers and thunderstorms will move through the area this morning and are not expected to be severe. It is still advised to monitor weather conditions later today for possible scattered/isolated thunderstorms that could become strong to severe in some areas.