Wood County Emergency Management Agency

High winds expected for rainy spring day

Jeff Klein, Emergency Management Agency  director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: The National Storm Prediction Center has Wood County in a risk of thunderstorms now through this afternoon.  Along with potential thunderstorms and associated rainfall, wind damage will be our primary concern.  This should just be a typical rainy spring day for our area.   However, east of I-71 NWS Cleveland is expecting wind gusts up to 60/ 70 mph.  Should this system form earlier than expected, there is a potential strong winds creating power disruption as well as tree damage on roadways.  We recommend all outdoor items be secured to prevent damage from becoming flying objects.  While tornados may be a possibility, NWS Cleveland does not believe it to be a high risk During this time please monitor weather conditions for any sudden changes.  The Wood County EMA is activity monitoring this weather pattern and will provide updates as they occur. We are also monitoring potential severe weather the afternoon and evening of Sunday April 14, 2019.  As with this system, we are currently on the northwest edge in the lowest thunderstorm category .  Updates will be provided as they become available.

Klein doing his best to help county plan for the worst

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News Jeff Klein is accustomed to handling emergencies. Now he’s helping people plan to prevent them. Klein has been named director of the Wood County Emergency Management Agency. He served as deputy director under recently retired Brad Gilbert. Prior to that, Klein spent more than 30 years in the fire service – most recently as fire chief in Perrysburg. So shifting gears to methodical planning rather than rushing to respond is a little different for Klein. “One of the hardest things for me was I had to pick my clothes out,” said Klein, who wore a firefighter uniform for years. Anyone who knows Klein, knows he has a wicked rapid-fire sense of humor. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t take his job very seriously. He knows much of his job is educating people about how to prepare themselves for the next disaster. “The sad reality is people think ‘it’s never going to happen to me.’ But somebody in this county is going to be the next house fire and the next flooding,” he said. So Klein wants to help people plan for those terrible moments in their lives. “Everybody knows the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning – but nobody knows what to do,” he said. Preparation can make a big difference. Before big snow storms people should make sure they are stocked up on items like their medications and pet foods. “It’s not just going to Kroger and buying up all the bread,” he said. “When the blizzard comes, you need to be prepared.” If people plan ahead, they can avoid making problems even worse by having to rush around in inclement weather. “How do I prepare my family, so we don’t get stuck on the highway,” when it’s best to just stay home, he said. Some prevention efforts take more time – and money. For example, if a bigger retention pond might save a home from being flooded, that might be a good investment. “Nobody likes to spend money,” Klein said. But if disaster strikes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance coverage will likely pay just a fraction of the costs to reimburse a family’s losses. “You play a big role in this,” by planning ahead, he said. As EMA director, Klein will continue working on the Code Red system that Gilbert began. The Code Red alerts will notify local residents of such events as bad weather headed this way or a hazardous material incident in their area. All landlines in the county will automatically be hooked up for the Code Red alerts. Cell phone users will have to register for the notifications. People will also be able to choose different options of which alerts they wish to receive. Klein plans to keep building on Gilbert’s work. “I think Brad really got a great foundation,” he said. So that means that in addition to planning, Klein will also get to respond to disasters – and still get to work side by side with the first responders he has known for decades. “I’m having fun,” Klein said with a smile.

It’s raining on Brad Gilbert’s last day on the job

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency  director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: A lingering stationary front in the area will bring several rounds of rain today, tonight, and Saturday.  Rain could be heavy at times.  Low lying areas will likely see some flooding issues and area rivers may go into the “Minor” flood stage by Saturday night.  Use caution when driving as water will be ponding on area roadways. For those of you who don’t know, this is my last day at Wood County as I am retiring with 32 years of public service.  It has been my honor and privilege to serve the citizens and officials of Wood County for the past 12 ½ years and I hope this information has been helpful to you.  Mr. Jeff Klein will be taking over as EMA Director and he will assume control of this email list to keep you informed of critical events.  I am sure Jeff will put out an email next week explaining how he will use this email list and the type of information and frequency that you may experience from him.  I hope that you will continue to support, and work with, the EMA in the future as I think we have built a good partnership to keep Wood County safe.  THANK YOU EVERYONE!  All the best to you!  BE SAFE OUT THERE!

Spring storm brings ‘slight’ threat of severe weather

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency  director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: A sure sign of Spring is coming!  The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has place Wood County in the “Slight” risk category for severe weather on Thursday.  A strong storm system moving through the Western Great Lakes will draw in much warmer air to Northern Ohio on Thursday.  By late afternoon and early evening Thursday, a strong cold front will move into the area triggering strong to potentially severe thunderstorms.  Damaging straight line winds will be the primary threat; however, there will be a small tornado threat as well.  Forecast models indicate a line of thunderstorms will move into NW Ohio from Indiana in the 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. time frame on Thursday which is at the typical atmospheric destabilization time frame from the sun’s energy during the day. Please monitor weather conditions closely Thursday afternoon and evening.  Also, next week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Ohio with the annual statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, March 20th at 9:50 a.m.  The NWS will activate weather radio alerts and Wood County will activate the Outdoor Warning Siren System at that time.  It is that time of year to review severe weather procedures both at home and at work and have a plan of action should the weather become threatening.  EMA will provide another update on Thursday with the latest information.

Klein named new Wood County Emergency Management director

Jeff Klein has been selected as the new director of the Wood County Emergency Management Agency. The Wood County Commissioners Doris Herringshaw, Craig LaHote, and Ted Bowlus announced the selection Monday. The EMA director serves a key role in the coordination of local, state, and national resources that may be needed to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the effects of a disaster. Klein, from Perrysburg, will begin his new role on March 29, with the retirement of current Director Brad Gilbert. Klein currently serves as the deputy director of the Wood County Emergency Management Agency, beginning in 2017.  He has 32 years of fire service experience having worked most recently for the City of Perrysburg, beginning in 1991, serving as a firefighter-paramedic, assistant fire chief, and 10 years as fire chief.  He is a graduate of Bowsher High School, Columbia Southern University with a degree in Fire Science, and the Ohio Fire Executive Program.

Spring-like storm brings thunder, rain & high winds to county

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency  director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: A strong spring-like storm system will move into the Great Lakes this weekend bringing brief warm temperatures, rain, thunder, and a lot of wind.  Fortunately, the severe thunderstorm threat has moved well south of Ohio in the forecast models.  Rain, and some thunderstorms (non-severe), will move into the area Saturday afternoon.  The heaviest rain and best chance of thunder will be in the early evening hours.  As the storm system moves to our northeast, very strong sustained winds and gusts will move into the area for Sunday.  The NWS has issued a High Wind WATCH for Wood County from 4:00am Sunday until 1:00am Monday.  Winds will initially be from the east and then switch to come from the south as winds increase.  After the passage of a cold front, the winds will come from the west at 30-45 mph with gusts around 60 mph Sunday afternoon.  With gusts this strong, minor damage can start to occur and scattered power outages will be possible. 

Wet weather Wednesday in forecast

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency  director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: A strong storm system with a lot of moisture will be moving across the eastern part of the country late tonight and on Wednesday.  Fortunately, NW Ohio will be in an area of the storm that will have a smaller impact (compared to other areas) from this storm.  With that said, we are still looking at some winter weather Wednesday morning that will cause slippery conditions.  Light snow will move into the Wood County area (southwesterly end first) around daybreak Wednesday morning.  Total snow accumulations should only be around 1”.  There will be a period of time in the mid to late morning hours that snow will change over to a mixture of sleet and very light freezing rain before turning to all rain in the afternoon.  Again, not a huge winter storm for this area, but enough to cause some morning commute issues and another tough decision process for the local schools. At this hour, the NWS is reviewing criterial for a possible Winter Weather Advisory (which is already posted in the counties to our west and south), but forecasters are unsure at this time if conditions will be bad enough to warrant an Advisory or not.  They will make a final decision this afternoon.  Slowly warming temperatures this week and into the weekend will bring rain along with a chance of thunderstorms on the weekend.

As ice melts, watch for flooding & high winds

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency  director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: Ice storm conditions are slowly improving this morning with main roadways being mostly wet at this time.  The Sheriff has cancelled the Level 1 snow emergency as roads are passable but most secondary roads are still slushy.  The NWS has issued a Wind ADVISORY for Wood County from 7:00pm tonight until 4:00pm Wednesday.  Winds will increase this afternoon and into the overnight hours with occasional gusts 45-50 mph.  Winds may cause additional power outage issues especially if ice does not thaw off of power lines and trees this afternoon.  A Flood WATCH continues until 4:00am on Wednesday.  A cold front will move through the area tonight dropping temperatures drastically causing a re-freezing issue on surfaces.  Light snow (around 1”) will also move back into the area in the overnight hours.  EMA will remain in situational awareness especially when it comes to the sporadic power outages around the county.  Please monitor conditions closely over the next 24 hours and be prepared for ponding on roadways and potential flooding and power outage issues.

Freezing rain in forecast for tonight

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency  director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: The NWS has issued a Winter Weather ADVISORY for Wood County from 8:00 p.m. tonight until 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.  Light snow and freezing rain will move into the area after 8:00 p.m. tonight and will change to all freezing rain during the night.  Precipitation should start to change over to all rain around 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday.  A cold front will move through the area late afternoon/early evening on Tuesday bringing snow showers and very windy conditions.  More light snow will be likely on Wednesday.  We are also monitoring a storm system for potential accumulating snow on Friday/Friday night. 

Freezing rain, then heavy rain, & then sunshine on Saturday

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather ADVISORY for Wood County from 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday until 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday.  Light rain tonight will change to freezing rain before changing back to all rain mid-morning on Wednesday.  0.10” of ice accumulation will be possible making surfaces very slippery especially for the morning commute.  Please use extra caution and allow extra time for travel Wednesday morning. Another storm system will move through the area on Thursday bringing warm temperatures and potentially heavy rain.  Flooding issues such as ponding of water on roadways will be likely and flooding of ditches, streams, creeks, and rivers may also be possible by the end of the week.  Please be aware of potential road closures in low lying areas near creeks and rivers and monitor conditions closely especially if you live near creeks and rivers. On a bright note…SUNSHINE on Saturday!

Topsy-turvy weather ahead

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: Roller coaster weather this week could cause some potential issues.  Rain will move into the area this afternoon and early evening with the chance of some lightning and thunder as well.  Cooler temperatures on Tuesday and overnight into early Wednesday morning will bring freezing rain and some light snow before turning over to rain Wednesday afternoon.  Surfaces will likely be slippery for the Wednesday morning commute. Another surge of warm air will move into the area on Thursday and bring rain which could be heavy at times.  This could lead to some creek/river flooding issues and ice jam issues towards the end of the week.  Property owners along the creeks and rivers should monitor conditions closely this week especially on Thursday and Friday.  Cooler more seasonable temperatures and a chance of snow will return by Friday and into the weekend.

Dangerous wind chill forecast from Tuesday night through Friday morning

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: EMA just completed a conference call with the NWS Cleveland office concerning the incoming polar/arctic air starting Tuesday night.  The following is the latest information for planning purposes. A Wind Chill WATCH is currently in effect.  This will be changed to a Wind Chill WARNING (for Tuesday night through Friday morning) sometime overnight tonight as the storm system pulls away from the area.  As it pulls away, a cold  front will move through in the early hours of Tuesday and temperatures will drop the entire day.  Winds will also be very gusty through the period which will create the dangerous wind chills.  The wind chill should reach the -25 degree F around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday.  Wind chills on Wednesday will average around -25 to -30 degrees F.  The coldest period in this time frame will be in the overnight hours Wednesday night into Thursday morning when wind chills could approach -40 degrees F.  Temperatures and wind chill values will begin to moderate on Friday.  High temperatures by Sunday will be nearing the upper 40s. Please note that these are dangerous conditions (Tuesday night through Friday morning).  At these low wind chill values, flesh can freeze in less than 10 minutes if exposed.  Please plan accordingly and use extra caution if you have to be outside for anything during this period.  These conditions for this period of time will also start to impact infrastructure, so plan for potential loss of infrastructure and services. FOR THOSE ALONG THE PORTAGE AND MAUMEE RIVERS: A secondary concern is developing for ice jams.  Ice jams are already being observed on the Maumee River from Rossford back through to almost the Waterville area.  The incoming temperatures will lock a lot of ice jam ice in place and will allow for rapid freezing of open water.  With temperatures returning to relatively warm values this weekend along with a chance of rain, ice jams and flooding may become an issue.  Please report any ice jam situations directly to the NWS Cleveland office or the EMA office.

Looking ahead to snow, wintry mix, & a bone-chilling freeze

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: Per the latest forecast models and a brief conversation with the NWS Cleveland office, I am sending you the latest update of information concerning the winter storm for Monday and conditions for this weekend. A Flood WARNING continues for MINOR flooding along the Portage River at this time.  The river should go below flood stage Saturday morning. Tonight’s light snow chance now appears to be very very light if any at all.  A small disturbance will be moving through the area this evening, but there is not a lot of moisture with it.  Snow showers are possible on Saturday as well as Sunday.  Sunday (especially afternoon and evening) could see a light accumulation (less than 1”).  On Monday, snow could begin in the early morning hours which could accumulate a couple of inches of snow.  The hard part of the forecast at this time is snow could transition over to a wintry mix (snow/sleet, freezing rain, rain) in the afternoon especially if the warmer air aloft gets this far north (now forecasted to be in the Findlay/Lima area).  If it changes to a wintry mix, snow totals will stay somewhat low, but slippery conditions will likely continue.  Snow would return in the evening hours as the warmer air moves east.  If it doesn’t change to a wintry mix, total accumulations for the storm could be in the 4” range with heavier snow north and west of the Maumee River.  Again, it is early and this is preliminary information.  EMA will be updating forecast information on its Facebook page through the weekend. Dangerous recorded setting cold air will start moving into the area Tuesday afternoon.  Wednesday will be the coldest day with actual high temperatures struggling to reach 0 degrees F.  Overnight wind chill temperatures will be near -40 degrees F.  This is very dangerous cold air, so please start preparing this weekend for conditions we have not seen in a long time (at least for a couple of days). FUN FACT:  Today is the 41st anniversary of the Great Blizzard of 1978!  At least we are not looking at that situation again!

County likely to get 4 inches of snow on Saturday with winds gusting to 40 mph

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: EMA has just completed a webinar with the NWS Cleveland office.  Although confidence is now high on the overall impact of this weekend’s storm, exact snowfall amounts still have a little question in the forecast.  The forecasted storm track has moved just slightly further south than yesterday.  Details are as follows: SNOW AMOUNTS: In general, Wood County will see an average of 4” of snowfall.  Some uncertainty remains so total accumulations could be 1” to 2” more or even 1” less than the general 4” forecasted.  Southern, especially southeastern Wood County will have the best chance to see a little more than 4” of snowfall. TIMING: Timing has also changed since last night.  Some areas along or north of the Turnpike may see some light snow in the very early morning hours, but most of Wood County will not see snowfall until mid to late morning on Saturday.  Forecast models now indicate that snow should move out of the Wood County area by midnight Saturday night. WINDS: Winds will start to increase Saturday morning and become strongest in the late afternoon and evening of Saturday into the overnight hours and Sunday morning.  Winds will be from the northeast most of the time at 15-25 mph.  There will be wind gusts 30-40 mph at times especially Saturday evening and into the overnight hours.  Winds will start to subside late Sunday afternoon and into the evening, but will still be breezy. IMPACTS: Traveling difficulty will increase throughout the afternoon on Saturday.  The evening hours are likely to have the most difficult travel conditions due to increasing winds.  Travel will also remain difficult on Sunday as snow continues to be blown around by gusty winds.  Winds may also cause sporadic power outages, so be prepared to deal with these issues should they occur.  Dangerous cold air will move into the area for Sunday into Monday with Monday morning wind chills around -20 degrees F.  Please check on family, friends, neighbors, and pets with this dangerous cold settling into the area. A Winter Storm WATCH is in effect for Saturday.  A Winter Storm WARNING has been issued just to our south and southeast as they will be receiving more snow than Wood County.  The NWS will evaluate the forecast again late tonight to decide if Wood and Lucas Counties are to go under a Winter Storm WARNING or a Winter Weather ADVISORY.  A warning is an indicator of at least 6” of snowfall, so if a warning is issued, expected snow totals will be up from the current 4” predicted. From EMA, have a SAFE weekend and don’t venture out unless you absolutely have to.  Let the plow drivers do their job to get our roads clear.  If you have to venture out, remember ICE AND SNOW…TAKE IT SLOW!

Storm expected to arrive late Friday and drop up to eight inches

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm WATCH for Wood County effective 4 a.m. Saturday morning through midnight.  Based upon the forecasted snow totals for this storm, it is likely that this watch will be upgraded to a warning (for Saturday) sometime late on Friday.  A new development in the forecast models today show that an upper level low pressure will develop just north of the developing low pressure (storm system) at the surface which will expand the coverage of snow (on the northeast side of the surface storm system) and bring snow into the area earlier than expected. Light snow could begin as early as very late Friday night.  Snow would be fairly light in the overnight hours but will increase in intensity through the morning hours of Saturday.  The heaviest snowfall rates will be in the afternoon and early evening hours of Saturday.  Storm total accumulations still appear to be in the 4”-8” range with the higher range  (6”-8”) being more likely to the southern part of the county.  Winds will steadily increase throughout Saturday with gusts Saturday evening and Sunday morning in the 35 mph range with an occasional 40 mph possible at times.  Blowing and drifting snow will remain an issue most of Sunday.  Dangerous cold air will also settle into the area on Sunday and overnight into Monday with low temperatures around -8 to -10 degrees and dangerous wind chills.  The last update for this storm will be emailed out Friday afternoon and we should have solid forecast information at that time.  We will also detail the forecasted winds in tomorrow’s email.