The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Just hours after a devastating tornado had ripped through a large section of Main

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Red Cross workers were out hours after the storm
offering beverages and snacks to tornado victims
along Main Street in Millbury. (Press photo by Tammy
Walro)

Street in Millbury, disaster relief efforts were already in full swing.

“Do you want an orange? Some water?” one of two women wearing American Red Cross vests asked residents whose homes sustained moderate damage. Her colleague was pulling a wagon with a cooler bearing fruits and bottled water as they walked along the 2800 block of Main.

The relief workers passed by a law enforcement checkpoint as they made their way north from homes moderately damaged by the EF4 (Enhanced Fujita) scale tornado – the second highest classification with winds between 166 and 200 mph – into the section of Main Street where homes were severely damaged or wiped away completely.

Walbridge village officials have scheduled June 19 as Family Fun Day at the municipal pool, opening the facility to the public for free from noon to 5 p.m.

        “We want to build support for the pool,” said Mayor Dan Wilczynski. “We want to let people know it’s there, it’s in good shape, and it’s a nice place to spend time with their family.”

        Maureen Jacobsen, who chairs village council’s parks and recreation committee, said there will be games for children in and out of the pool, a dunk tank, a swim lesson clinic about 1 p.m., as well as a raffle and prizes.

        The Walbridge Library will also have activities.

        The Walbridge Festival Committee will provide food.

        The pool, which is located on Parkview Drive, opened June 5 and will be open seven days a week through Labor Day. Hours are noon to 8 p.m.

        Facing a lean operating budget, the village administration had considered leaving the pool closed this summer with the understanding it and other budget cuts could be re-instated if tax revenues increased.

        Mayor Wilczynski sent letters in April to elected officials in Northwood, Millbury, Rossford, and Lake Township, offering residents of those communities membership to the pool and daily admission.

        “In rethinking how we all operate and in hopes of moving other items of each of our operations to a more regional approach, we would like to offer several options to you and your councils for your collective support,” he wrote. “With your support, we will make this offer available to your residents in the same manner that we do with the Walbridge residents.”

        If funding is available, the village will move a fence around the pool farther out to enclose trees on the property, creating an area that would be ideal for picnics, the mayor said.

        “We have some ideas,” he said. “It’s a matter of how to pay for them.”

        The village purchased the pool and five-acre grounds in 1994 for $13,000 from a non-profit corporation formed by residents.

        The mayor said it cost about $40,000 to operate the pool for a season. Revenue from memberships, daily fees, and food concessions typically generate only $23,000.

Athough her office computer had been sitting in two inches of water, Jeanne Rogacki, office manager for the Lake Township Police Department, had it working after drying it out in the hours following the June 5 tornado that destroyed the township administration building.

“I was so concerned, payroll is this week,” she said, adding the computer used by Police Chief Mark Hummer was also salvaged.

Contractors, township personnel, and volunteers had the former Ohio Highway Patrol post on Lemoyne Road – the police department’s new temporary quarters – operational in less than a week after the tornado hit.

Ironically, the township trustees last year approved purchasing the building and property, which has been vacant since 2007 when the Highway Patrol opened a new Wood County post near Bowling Green, and planned to take their time to convert it into an emergency operations center.

The facility is equipped with a 140-foot radio tower and a back-up generator.

Police emergency dispatching service is still being routed through the Northwood Police Department’s 9-1-1 system

Photos by Ken Grosjean (The Press) and John Pollock (www.pollock.smugmug.com)

 

 

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Last week, Daniel Beaudoin, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stony Ridge, organized volunteers to help clean up the wreckage in the wake of the tornado that hit the Millbury area last weekend. He is coordinating efforts to salvage victims’ possessions scattered by the twister.

“Originally, we had four work teams going out to four different sites,” said Beaudoin. “We have four families from our church who have been directly affected by the tornado.”

One family lives in Moline, where their property suffered minor damage, he said, with uprooted trees and broken tree limbs. The other three families, he said, who lived near Lake High School, lost everything.

“Two of the families lived in two farmhouses between the Lake Township police station and high school. Their homes were destroyed. Further west, on the other side of the railroad tracks, between Moline and Lake High School, is a young family with three children.”

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