The Press Newspaper
Bailey Bowman was traveling with boyfriend Gerald Lathrop along State Route 795 heading towards his parents’ home on the evening of June 5.
The two 20-year-old Walbridge residents had spent the day at the Old West End Festival.
Before reaching the home on Luckey Road, a Category EF4 tornado swept up both Bowman and Lathrop, however, Bowman did not survive.
“Bailey and I were coming home from dinner and we were trying to get to my parent’s house for shelter because we heard that there were bad storms, so we left early,” Lathrop said. “We got to-go boxes and we were going to come back here and eat and be with my family and we didn’t make it.
“We ran into a tornado and tried to get to the (Lake Township police) department. I never saw what happened to her. I ended up getting thrown against the building and the only thing that saved my life was two boulders — one on my right and one on my left that held the building up and kept it from falling on me. The whole building collapsed and I’ve never experienced anything like that,” Lathrop continued.
The Ottawa County Emergency Management is operating an Outreach Center in the Reiman and Trowbridge roads area. First aid, and information on cleanup and debris collection sites will be available.
In addition, The Salvation Army will operate a canteen at the Outreach Center, with food and beverages for residents and workers involved in the cleanup.
The Genoa Athletic Complex will be the clearing house for lost and found.
Assistance needs and volunteer efforts are being coordinated through the American Red Cross and the Ottawa County Emergency Management Agency.
Residents with specific needs are encouraged to contact Ottawa County EMA at 419-734-6900 or United Way 2-1-1 (dial 2-1-1 or 800-650-4357).
Residents/businesses are reminded that debris should be sorted and placed at the edge of the road in following categories:
For Gary Baker and his family, a camping outing in Williams County was cut short by the storm systems that spawned the tornadoes that struck Ohio and Michigan.
They raced home to Williston from a Nettle Lake campground just minutes ahead of the storm.
“The sky looked really ominous behind us,” he said. “We got on the turnpike and we were only ahead of it by 10 minutes or so.”
Only five minutes passed after they pulled into their Toledo Street home and the emergency sirens sounded, he said.
The storm flooded Baker’s yard but his home didn’t suffer structural damage.
“We were lucky,” he said. “There was quite a bit of damage in Ottawa County.”
A team of meteorologists from the National Weather Service conducted an extensive survey of the tornado’s path in Wood and Ottawa counties and determined it reached an intensity of 4 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, indicating wind speeds reached 170-175 miles per hour.
The most extensive damage occurred in two spots: at State Route 795 near Lake High School and on the northwest side of the Village of Millbury.
Oregon City Council will consider submitting an application to the Ohio Department of Development for a $75,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for sidewalk and street improvements.
City Council at a committee of the whole meeting last Monday agreed to place the resolution on the following Monday’s council meeting agenda.
The funds would be used to complete the third phase of improvements within the Pickle Road area. Paving replacement on Pickle Road would connect improvements made through the Wheeling Street widening project and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Pickle Road overpass project.
The funds would also be used for sidewalk improvements on Munding and Isaac streets. The improvements would provide a continuous pedestrian route, connecting improvements made through the Wheeling Street widening project and the fiscal year 2009 CDBG Pickle Road Phase 2 sidewalk project.
Council member Sandy Bihn said she has received an increasing number of inquiries from the public regarding safety issues from a lack of sidewalks from Coy Road to the area near Wal-Mart on State Route 2.
Oregon council will consider awarding a contract on Monday to a firm to conduct smoke testing in the sanitary sewer system to find the causes of flooding that have occurred in parts of the city following heavy rainfall in the last few years.
“Over the past few years, we’ve had issues with wet weather, and storm water getting into the sanitary sewer system,” said Public Service Director Paul Roman. “One of the tools to find out where the storm water sources come from is smoke testing. It is just a matter of blowing a lot of smoke into the sanitary, and walking into a neighborhood, looking to see where exactly the smoke comes out.”
The city has been vigorously addressing flooding problems after heavy rain, including the installation of temporary flow meters at five locations in the sanitary sewer system to reduce or eliminate excessive storm water from getting into the wastewater collection system. Flow monitoring, video detection and smoke testing help identify Inflow and Infiltration (I&I).
Data collected from the meters showed that a lot of I&I throughout the older sections of the city in the Wheeling Street district is a significant source of direct storm inflow into the sanitary sewer.
No results found.