Heavy rains on their way Wednesday & Thursday

From Brad Gilbert, county EMA director: A storm system similar to the one we experienced a couple of weeks ago will move into the area overnight tonight (May 23) and will be slow to move out of the area by late on Thursday (May 25).  Although similar in nature, this storm system does not have quite the amount of moisture to work with as the last big storm system; therefore, serious flooding is not expected at this time.  Light rain will move into the area Wednesday morning with heavier rain possible Wednesday afternoon and evening.  Because of the recent rains, ditches, streams, creeks, and rivers will likely rise fairly quick and low lying areas that typically see flooding issues may experience those type of issues.  Significant river flooding issues are not expected.  Ponding on roads and in city streets will be the primary issue, so please use extra caution when driving.  Some thunderstorm activity may be embedded in the widespread rain Wednesday afternoon, but severe weather is not expected at this time.  Rain will continue on Thursday; however, rain should be lighter in nature than it will on Wednesday.

BGSU to test warning sirens, May 9

BGSU will perform outdoor warning siren testing from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 9. Periodic testing will consist of warning tones and voice commands at four to six locations across campus. Each test will last for 10 to 15 minutes. These sirens typically activate if Wood County goes under a Tornado Warning, for the regular monthly test or for the statewide tornado drill normally held every March. The May 9 test will be rescheduled if there is a chance of severe weather.

Threat of severe weather tonight (April 20)

BRADLEY J. GILBERT, WOOD COUNTY EMA DIRECTOR There is a severe weather threat for this evening (April 20) across NW Ohio.  Overnight the Storm Prediction Center increased the severe weather risk category across Northwest Ohio to “Enhanced.”   Atmosphere dynamics along with very warm temperatures and increased dew points (humidity) this afternoon will cause thunderstorms to develop across Eastern Illinois into Northern Indiana and then into NW Ohio.  Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible late this afternoon, but the bigger complex of thunderstorms will move into the area after 5 p.m. Current models indicate this complex of storms to be in the Wood County/Toledo/Findlay area around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.  this evening.  The primary threats will be damaging straight line winds and large hail; however, an isolated tornado or two is also possible over Northwest Ohio and especially just north of the Ohio/Michigan line. Heavy rain will also be possible which may cause some flooding issues after yesterday’s rainfall.  More than likely, some type of severe weather WATCH will be issued for our area by late this afternoon.

Some of the stories that clicked for BG Indy in 2016

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News If you ask those of us involved with BG Independent News, the biggest news of 2016 was that we got this enterprise started and weathered our first year. This has been a great venture that has both challenged and rewarded us, if not enriched us. We pride ourselves on writing the best stories about Bowling Green, its immediate surroundings and area arts and entertainment scene. We’ve been heartened by the fact that we’ve had close to 160,000 users and 600,000 page views since the website was launched in late January. For that Jan McLaughlin and I thank you, our readers. It’s been a great ride. As we start a new year, we thought we’d go back and see just what stories drew the most traffic in the previous one. I decided on a top 30 of the more than 1,700 stories we’ve published. That includes the bylined stories that make up the heart of BG Independent News, but also Community Voices, Opinion, Obituaries and Newsbreak (though not the event listings that get lumped into What’s Happening in Your Community). (See the list of links at the end of the story.) The story that drew…

BG hears concerns about car crashes, snowy streets, parking tickets

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green City Council spent a lot of time on transportation issues last week – not just the flashy topics of roundabouts and pedestrian walkways – but also the more mundane issues of downtown parking, snow removal on streets, and curves that may be contributing to accidents. Nathan Eberly, who lives on Sandridge Road just west of Avery Drive, told council that two curves on his stretch of the road seem to be sending quite a few motorists into his lawn. He asked that more signage be considered to notify drivers of the upcoming curves. “I end up with several people in my yard,” especially in the winter when the roads are a little slick, Eberly said. There was a period last year during a storm when four cars ran off the road into his yard in about an hour. Eberly told council he no longer puts his lighted Christmas deer in the yard since they are too often the victims of accidents. Eberly said he and his neighbors would like the city to consider placing more warning signs for the curves. He was instructed to take his concerns to Bowling Green…

It’s beginning to look a lot like … time to shovel

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Mail carriers, dog walkers and kids trudging to schools aren’t the only ones who want sidewalks cleared of snow in Bowling Green. The city wants sidewalks cleared within 24 hours after snowstorms stop. And if homeowners don’t shovel their sidewalks, the city will do the work and send them the bill. This is how it works. If a citizen complains or if the code enforcement officer sees a snow-covered sidewalk, the city will send a contractor out to clear the walkway. The homeowner will then be sent a bill for about $65. If the bill isn’t paid, the charge will be placed on the property’s taxes. If the city has to return to the same property later in the winter, the owner will be charged the snow removal rate, plus receive a civil citation. The citation fines start at $50 and increase each time, with a maximum penalty of $150. The sidewalk regulations started out of a concern for children walking to school. “The focus was to keep kids safe walking to school, to keep them off the streets,” said Brian Craft, director of the city’s public works department. About six years…

Conneaut, Kenwood and BGHS releasing two hours early on Wednesday due to heat

At 10:15 pm Tuesday, an automated call and email went out to Bowling Green parents informing them that due to predicted heat, Conneaut and Kenwood Elementaries and BG Senior High School will all release students two hours early tomorrow, Wednesday September 7. The Middle School and Crim Elementary will complete their days normally due to air conditioning in those buildings. The text of the call and email is as follows: “Dear parents and guardians, With the tomorrow’s temperatures rising and potentially creating unsafe conditions for our students, Wednesday, September 7 Conneaut Elementary, Kenwood Elementary, and Bowling Green Senior High School will be on a two-hour early release. The Elementary schools will dismiss at 1:30pm, while the High School will dismiss at 12:32. Crim Elementary and Bowling Green Middle School will dismiss at normal times. We understand that this could create an inconvenience to you schedules but it is being done with our student’s health and safety in mind. Bobcat Proud, Superintendent Francis Scruci”

Low grade tornado touched down near BG Wednesday night

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.  

BG spared from strange string of tornadoes

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…

Tornado warning for Wednesday, Aug. 24 extended to 9:30 p.m.

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.

Dry summer taking toll on crops, lawns, tempers

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…

Moderate risk of severe weather in southern Wood County

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…

Risk of severe weather declines for today (Wednesday, June 15)

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.

Watch for severe weather Wednesday

From BRADLEY J. GILBERT,  WOOD COUNTY EMA DIRECTOR Overnight, the Storm Prediction Center increased the severe weather risk for NW Ohio to “Enhanced” on Wednesday. We have also just received a severe weather briefing from the Cleveland forecast office with their concerns. This is the first time this year we have been at this risk category. Thunderstorms will develop in the late afternoon and into the evening and possibly continue into the overnight hours. Primary threats from thunderstorms will be damaging straight-line winds, hail, and heavy downpours of rain. Secondary threats include isolated tornadoes and frequent lightning. Please plan on monitoring weather conditions closely Wednesday afternoon and evening. Weather radios and local media should be monitored for the latest weather information and possible warnings.  We will provide another update Wednesday morning via this email and our Facebook page.

Sun sets the stage for Art in the Park

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News All kinds of artists turned out for Bowling Green’s second annual Art in the Park in Simpson Garden Park. Artists were drawing, painting, doing needle work. Adult and budding actors staged shows. Performer Nick Zoulek blew saxophone; Michiko Saiki blew bubbles. And, of course, there were those who expressed their artistic inclinations by snapping photos with their smart phones. Jacqueline Nathan, president of the Bowling Green Arts Council, said the Art in the Park was a success, drawing at least as many attendees as last year’s inaugural event. Sunny weather in the 80s certainly helped. Aaron Pickens, of Grand Rapids, was painting a line of arbor vitae. Painting outdoors is way of taking a break from his highly detailed and realistic paintings of toys. Those can take 500 hours to complete. But if painting outdoors is fun, it’s serious fun. Painting outdoors is a challenge. There’s so much detail, he said. “You have to learn what to leave out. The landscape taught me how to paint.” Denise Carter was working on a rag rug that will serve as a wall hanging. She pulled brightly colored fabric through the weave of a coffee bean sack….