Thousands without power after winds cause severe damage

A line of utility poles lies across Experiment Farm Road between Farrington and Eldean Road. (Piqua Daily Call Photo/Mike Ullery)

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — Thousands were still without power 24 hours after dangerously high winds hit the Miami Valley.

Crews across the area worked Sunday to restore electricity after Saturday’s strong gusts caused trees to fall and power poles to snap.

On Experiment Farm Road north of Troy, DP&L crews worked 16 hour shifts to get utility poles upright, after powerful winds pushed them over onto traffic. No injuries were reported. According to DP&L officials, drivers caught in the middle stayed in their vehicles until emergency and power crews got them to safety.

DP&L has been in the area since Saturday working to clear the half mile stretch, but officials said it isn’t a quick process. Twenty-two transmission poles that are 75 feet long need to be picked up and put back in the ground. Crews also need to re-do all the wiring. Officials said this damage didn’t cause any outages.

According to DP&L’s operations director, the poles have been in place for nearly two decades and are built to last winds  of more than 75 miles per hour for a full day, but Saturday’s winds won the challenge.

“It’s an incredible way we’ve built the entire system,” said Bruce Coppock, DP&L Director of Operations. “The sturdiness of these structures is really incredible. So the winds that we saw right in in Miami County had to be very very strong. In fact, what we’ve seen are the highest recorded winds throughout our entire service territory right here in Miami County.”

Two empty cars are still stuck as crews work to remove the poles around them. Officials estimated the gusts that brought these down had to be upwards of 70 miles per hour.

Officials said Experiment Farm Road should be back open by the end of the week.

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