Wood County Emergency Management Agency

Friday forecast now has storms gone by kickoff

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: A couple of items have slightly changed in the forecast models for Friday since yesterday’s email.  Timing of the thunderstorms now indicate a 3-6 p.m. time frame for moving through NW Ohio.  Forecast models are still fairly consistent that severe weather and lightning producing storms will be well east of Wood County by Friday night football kick-off times.  Also, changed in the last 2 hours is the SPC’s update that shows the “Slight” risk category has been shifted slightly west to include Wood County in the next highest risk category.  With a “Slight” risk, there is a chance of an isolated tornado as well as damaging straight-line winds as primary threats.  Winds outside of thunderstorms throughout the day on Friday will be very breezy/gusty.  Some non-thunderstorm wind gusts could be 35-40 mph at times.  Once the storms have passed, there will be a notable drop in temperature through Friday evening.  Please monitor weather conditions closely Friday afternoon until this strong cold front has passed through the area. For our local schools… As stated, Friday night football games should be threat-free from severe weather and lightning; however, with the thunderstorms arriving later in the afternoon, there will be a chance of stronger weather around class dismissal times.  Although forecast models are leaning towards a line of thunderstorms moving through Wood County in the 4:30-5:30pm time frame, conditions will be favorable for scattered/isolated thunderstorms ahead of this line that could also become strong or severe, so please monitor weather conditions closely as dismissal times arrive on Friday. Much cooler weather but mostly sunny skies for the weekend!


Colliding fronts may bring severe weather on Friday

Brad Gilbert, Emergency Management Agency director for Wood County, has issued the following advisory: A strong cold front will move across Northern Ohio on Friday bringing showers and thunderstorms.  Because of the strength of the cold front and the warm/moist air that will be in place over Northern Ohio, thunderstorms may become severe.  The Storm Prediction Center has NW Ohio in the “Marginal” risk category for severe weather while area east and south of Wood County will be in the “Slight” risk category.  Damaging straight line winds and hail will be the primary threats along with heavy downpours of rain.  Timing of thunderstorm develop on Friday as of today incidates thunderstorms will likely develop and begin to strengthen over NW Ohio in the early-mid afternoon before moving east/south as more mature/stronger thunderstorms.  Much cooler air will move into the area Friday night and into the weekend as Fall officially begins at 9:54 p.m. Saturday night. As many on this email list are school officials with football games on Friday night, the timing at this point indicates thunderstorms will likely be out of the area by kick-off times.  Some lingering showers may still be in the area; however, the lightning and severe weather threat should be well east and south of Wood County by football time.  EMA will monitor forecasted conditions and provide an update Friday morning especially if timing changes and may impact football games Friday night.  


Unsettled weather in weekend forecast

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: A storm system moving through the Great Lakes this weekend will bring unsettled weather to the area both days.  Showers and thunderstorms will be likely early Saturday morning with some clearing by late morning and into the afternoon hours.  Scattered thunderstorms will be on the increase again in the late afternoon and evening on Saturday.  Some of the thunderstorms could be strong to even isolated severe.  A repeat of this scenario is likely on Sunday with rain early in the morning and a little better chance of thunderstorms in the late afternoon and evening.  More widespread severe weather will be likely across lower Michigan all the way to the Ohio/Michigan line on Sunday.  There will be periods of sunshine with very warm and humid conditions throughout the weekend as well. The Storm Prediction Center has most of NW Ohio in the “Marginal” risk category for severe weather on both days.  A higher risk category of “Slight” will be in place across southern lower Michigan down to the Ohio/Michigan line, so stronger weather is expected to our immediate north.  Please monitor weather conditions this weekend especially if you have outside activities.


Rain on its way for weekend

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: An unusual slow moving storm system will move into the lower Great Lakes area on Friday and linger around for most of the weekend.  Widespread severe weather is not expected; however, the Storm Prediction Center has placed NW Ohio in the “Marginal” (lowest) risk category for severe weather on Friday.  This means that isolated thunderstorms may become strong to even severe on Friday especially Friday evening.  The remainder of the weekend showers and thunderstorms will be likely with potentially heavy rain at times.  Although ground conditions are very dry, there is a small risk of flooding issues should conditions produce excessive rainfall in isolated areas.  In general, 1” to 2” of rain can be expected from Friday through Sunday.  Some areas west of Wood County may see more rainfall.


Going to be a scorcher

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director, has issued the following advisory: Information just in from the National Weather Service shows a heat advisory will be in place for Wood County from noon until 10 p.m. on Saturday.  The heat index (air temperature + humidity) will be 100-104 degrees on Saturday.  Portions of Northwest Ohio, including Wood County, could have heat index values higher than 105 degrees which would trigger an Excessive Heat Warning on Saturday.  People should limit outside activities or at least be very cautious with extra breaks and plenty of water.  People are asked to check on family, friends and neighbors who may be vulnerable to these excessive heat conditions.  Intense heat and humidity will continue on Sunday; however, the core of the most intense heat will shift toward Northeast Ohio on Sunday.  Thunderstorms are possible late Sunday and into Monday as a very weak cold front passes.  Widespread severe weather is not expected at this time, but the chance of an isolated stronger storm with this heat cannot be ruled out. The Wood County Senior Center on Main Street in Bowling Green will have extended hours today and on Saturday for a cooling center if needed.


As remnants of Alberto move in keep an eye on weather

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: The remnants of sub-tropical storm Alberto will move into Indiana today and impact Ohio.  Periods of heavy rain will be possible late this afternoon into the overnight hours.  Rain chances will continue on Thursday.  Total rainfall through Friday morning will be 0.50” to 1.5” of rain in isolated areas.  The SPC also has NW Ohio in the “Marginal” risk category for severe weather late this afternoon and evening.  This storm system will allow for some rotation in the atmosphere that could cause an isolated brief tornado as well as damaging straight-line winds.  Please monitor weather conditions today and into this evening.


Shifting warm front increases chance of severe weather today

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: Forecast models are now indicating that a warm front will likely make it as far north as Central Wood County this afternoon, May 21,  (originally forecasted to move no further north than Findlay this morning).  As a result, the Storm Prediction Center has now included most of Wood County in the “Slight” risk category for severe weather this afternoon and evening.  Damaging straight-line winds, hail, and heavy rainfall will be the primary threats; however, near and just south of the warm front will have the potential to develop some rotation and an isolated tornado. At this hour, showers and some thunderstorms are developing across Indiana.  With the heating of the afternoon (and the more northerly position of the warm front), the atmosphere will destabilize and allow more thunderstorms to develop especially after 3:00 p.m. and into the evening hours.  Please monitor weather conditions closely this afternoon and evening.


Isolated chance of strong thunderstorms Thursday

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: Scattered showers and thunderstorms will become possible this evening and then become likely overnight tonight into the morning hours of Thursday.  If thunderstorms develop overnight tonight, widespread severe weather is not likely but there is an isolated chance of a stronger thunderstorm cell to move through the area.  Thunderstorms Thursday morning may become strong to some isolated severe cells.  The SPC has Wood County in the “Marginal” risk category  for Thursday.  An area of drier air may move into the area Thursday afternoon before more showers and thunderstorms move back into the area Thursday evening into early Friday morning.


Fire weather, thunderstorm advisories issued

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: The NWS has issued a Fire Weather WATCH from noon until 8 p.m. today.  Very low humidity and a brisk southwest wind will create conditions that will support rapid growth of fires…specifically grass, brush, and field fires. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed NW Ohio in the “Marginal” (lowest) risk category for severe weather on Thursday, May 3.  Thunderstorms that do develop do have a small chance to become strong to severe on Thursday.


Keep an eye on rising rivers

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following weather advisory: Light to sometimes moderate rain will continue through the morning hours before tapering off early this afternoon. Colder temperatures will also be moving into the area today and will mix with more precipitation from another storm system moving across Southeast Ohio tonight and tomorrow morning. A wintry mix will be possible late tonight and into the drive times Thursday morning. Conditions may become slippery with some freezing rain and sleet. Higher chances of mixed precipitation will be to our southeast (Akron to Mansfield to Lima). At this hour, the Portage River is cresting around 10.77 feet which is minor flood stage. Because of the current rain, the crest will likely last a little longer than normal; however, no major increases in river levels are anticipated at this time. At this hour, the Maumee River at Grand Rapids continues to rise. Mayor Berry reports that flood prone areas such as the campgrounds and park are beginning to fill with water. Forecast models indicate the river cresting in the minor flood stage; however, a lot of rain has fallen in the upper Maumee River basin in Northeast Indiana, so we will need to continue to monitor the Maumee River for days to come. Another weaker storm system will impact the area Friday through Sunday with mostly rain; however, Friday morning may also see a wintry mix at times. Please use extra caution when driving Thursday and Friday mornings.


Heavier snow on its way

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: The next storm system will move into the area after midnight Thursday night/Friday morning.  This will be a longer duration snowfall which will last through the early morning hours of Saturday.  Heavier snow bands are likely by late Friday morning and into the afternoon hours.  With the current projected path, the heavier snow (6”+ of new snow) will be north of the Maumee River and that area is currently under a Winter Storm WATCH.  Areas south of the Maumee River (including Wood County) are currently forecasted to be in the 3”-5” range.  Areas south of the Maumee River will likely have a Winter Weather ADVISORY issues by Thursday evening if the current forecasted storm path holds true. As the above information indicates, Wood County is very close to the heavier (6”+) forecasted snow area.  With snowfall still 38 hours away and there is always the potential for a slight change in the forecasted path of the storm, everyone should be prepared for the potential of heavier snow from this storm system should a slight change to the south occur.  It would only take 20 miles to the south of a change in the forecasted storm path to put Wood County into the heavier snow totals, so it is important to monitor local media and weather radios for the latest weather information over the next 48 hours. And yes, there is another likelihood of accumulating snow on Sunday…potentially heavier snowfall.  Again, please check with local media and weather radios over the weekend for the latest information on Sunday’s storm system.


Use extra caution when traveling Friday

Brad Gilbert, Wood County EMA director has issued the following advisory: New data show snow totals for tomorrow to be about in-line with what we provided this morning with a slight tendency for maybe an addition inch especially more south and east in the county.  Rain will change to freezing rain around sunrise then a change over to snow late morning and early afternoon.  Heaviest snow rates will be in the mid afternoon hours.  A Winter Weather Advisory will be in place for Friday.  Please use extra caution when traveling on Friday.


Rover Pipeline ‘goodwill’ checks follow bad spill record

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Officials from Rover Pipeline – the company with 19 Ohio EPA violations so far and $2.3 million in fines and damages – presented some checks Tuesday to help first responders. The $10,000 checks, “offered in goodwill by the company,” are going to the emergency management agencies in each of the 18 counties in Ohio being traversed by Rover pipeline. Wood County is one of those on the route. The funds are to be used to purchase new equipment or offer additional training . “We hope these funds will go toward emergency first responders,” Bill Barth, senior specialist for emergency response with Rover, said as he passed on the giant checks. “We look forward to working with you.” Wood County EMA Director Brad Gilbert is grateful for the funds, but he would just as soon not have to work on a pipeline incident. He may use the check from Rover to help put a state MARCs radio system in the sheriff’s dispatch center. The $10,000 donation will pay just a portion of the total $40,000 expense. “The pressure’s on them to do the right thing during construction and operations,” Gilbert said of the pipeline. “Hopefully we don’t need it for any issues with them.” However, Rover’s accident record isn’t exactly clean. The check presentations come on the heels of Rover Pipeline being cited for a 19th environmental violation. Most recently, the Ohio EPA cited Rover for spilling contaminants into the Mohican River in Ashland County. When questioned about the level of trust counties should have in Rover, the company’s communications specialist said the 19 citations are based on Ohio EPA’s definition of a violation. “We’re showing different data,” Alexis Daniel said Tuesday as the pipeline firm prepared to hand out the giant checks in the Wood County Courthouse atrium to the EMA directors from Wood, Hancock and Seneca counties. The Rover pipeline is being constructed through southern Wood County on its way from West Virginia to Ontario, Canada. Despite the Ohio EPA’s records, Daniel said Rover has “not had an abundance of spills.” “The environment is very important to us,” she said. “We’ve been pretty diligent in following all the extra requirements” that were put in place after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission halted the pipeline work earlier…


Waterlogged Pemberville and Wayne see worst flooding

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 for sandbags. “It’s too late for sandbags at this point,” Gilbert said. Plans have also been made with the American Red Cross. “The Red Cross is in place, ready to go if they are needed,” he said. On the other side of the county, the Maumee River is not threatening Grand Rapids, he added. “The village is in pretty good shape.” Pemberville and Grand Rapids are accustomed to their rivers flooding, but the problem is new to Wayne, which does not sit along a waterway. Gilbert surmised that the village’s aging storm sewer system may need cleaning. On Wednesday, Bowling Green officials warned residents about flooding issues. Because of the large amount of rain, storm…