Storms rolled through Delaware County and central Ohio Thursday morning, causing power outages, flash floods, closed roads and a number of other problems for residents and commuters.
The National Weather Service reported Thursday afternoon that the storms began just before midnight Wednesday and lasted late into Thursday morning. The Delaware Municipal Airport reported that Delaware received 4.25 inches of rain during that time and the National Weather Service had issued flash-flood warnings as well as a flood advisory and a flood warning Thursday morning until Thursday afternoon.
The section of U.S. 36/State Route 37 under the railway bridge, just east of the Kroger Distribution Center, was flooded and police were not allowing any cars to attempt to cross. However, they were allowing semi-trucks to traverse the deep waters.
The Delaware County Emergency Management Agency reported Thursday morning that these roads were among those closed due to high water:
• Lewis Center Road at Africa Road.
• Ostrander Road at Brindle Road.
• Burnt Pond at Fontenelle.
• Wilson Road off State Route 37.
• South Section Line at Fort Meyers and at National Lime.
• Sawmill Parkway between Brewster Lane and Attucks Drive.
• Parts of Horseshoe Road, Mills Road and Olentangy Road.
The EMA said the roads were reopening later in the morning and afternoon as the water receded but officials were still cautioning drivers not to try and drive cars through deep water on roadways.
Sandy Mackey, a spokeswoman for the EMA, said that several roads flooded during the storm that don’t normally flood. Mackey said the affected area of U.S. 36/SR 37 doesn’t “usually flood so severely.”
Mackey said that in high-water situations the local fire departments have boats that can travel across water too deep for trucks.
Officials from Ohio Wesleyan University said the rain caused flooding in basements around campus but nothing was significantly damaged. They also reported that Delaware Run’s banks overflowed onto the north part of the lawn between Sandusky Street and Henry Street but that also caused no damage.
The storms and high winds also caused problems for AEP which reported 3,180 Delaware County customers were without power at 8 a.m. Thursday. AEP said a majority of customers had power restored by noon and fewer than 200 customers were without power Thursday afternoon. AEP projected that power would be restored for all their customers by 8 p.m.
The Associated Press reports that Ohio utility companies reported 25,000 customers without power early Thursday.
Police scanner traffic Thursday indicated that there were several calls about downed wires throughout the county.
However, the National Weather Service reports that clear skies are ahead for the county — with Friday and Saturday expected to be sunny and clear. There is a chance of thunderstorms Sunday night and Monday night with chances of precipitation.
Columbus and other areas of Ohio were under a tornado watch Thursday until 10 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, which also reported chances of thunderstorms and rain Thursday night.
The National Weather Service reports that six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult and it only takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car. The service reports two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. The EMA and weather service recommend “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” in instances where water covers the roads.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.