Weekend storm causes minor damage


The Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management reported Monday that although there was minor wind damage during Friday’s storm, the office does not believe a tornado touched down in the county.

Deputy Director Scott Stewart said the EMA was monitoring forecasts from the National Weather Service (NWS) on Friday leading up to the storm.

“We sent weather briefings to all of our partners to advise them so they could be prepared,” Stewart said Monday. “Weather alerts were posted on our social media accounts to increase situational awareness with the public. We also polled all of the sirens in the system to ensure they were ready in the event the system was activated. During the storm, we monitored NWS in Wilmington for information about its progress and when the threat had expired. We also coordinated with the 911 Center to ensure that the sirens continued to activate during the entire tornado warning period.”

Stewart said that since Saturday morning, the office has received reports of some trees and tree branches that were downed as well as a few minor power outages, mostly in the Powell area. He added that area was not in the tornado-warned polygon.

According to Stewart, the NWS reported the highest recorded wind speed was 47 mph at the Delaware Municipal Airport, but the winds were probably higher in parts of the county where trees were blown down.

Stewart explained the tornado sirens were activated automatically during the storm due to a radar-indicated threat of a potential tornado, but “with the damage reports we have received so far, we do not believe that a tornado touched down in Delaware County.”

Stewart said the EMA is already in the monitoring phase for the storm system that may impact the county on Wednesday and encouraged county residents to sign up for DelCoAlerts to receive warnings and notifications about weather.

“Tornado sirens are designed to be heard outdoors only, with the intent to go inside and seek shelter and further information,” Stewart said. “You should not rely on hearing a tornado siren inside your house as an effective warning strategy. … One of the most important messages we can share is the need to have multiple methods to receive warnings and notifications and then know what to do when you receive them. Families should take the opportunity to make plans for severe weather and then discuss them prior to an actual event.”

More information can be found at http://delcoalerts.org/.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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