The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Oregon City Council on Monday approved an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway for preliminary engineering services for interconnection with railroad grade crossing warning devices for the Otter Creek Road advance railroad crossing notification system.

Plans call for blue warning lights to be installed on Otter Creek Road at Millard Avenue and Corduroy Road that will notify motorists that lights and gates are activated at the existing at-grade railroad crossing on Otter Creek Road, located just south of York Street. The notification system will provide Corduroy Road traffic the opportunity to select an alternate route before reaching the frequently blocked railroad crossing.

The system, which requires an interconnection with the existing railroad grade crossing warning device circuitry, will be similar to the blue light system that was installed at the intersections of Pickle Road/Wheeling Street and Pickle Road/Woodville Road in 2002 that notifies motorists of the blocked CSX crossing on Pickle Road.

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Oregon has increased tests of its own water since high levels of a toxin were found in a water sample taken from Toledo’s Collins Park water treatment plant over the weekend.

Toledo’s detection of microcystin, which can cause abnormal liver function in humans and animals, prompted Toledo to issue a three day ban on the use of its drinking water.

Oregon has its own water treatment plant that provides water to many communities in the area, which were unaffected by the toxin affecting Toledo’s water.

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It’s almost like a sequel to a movie — one year ago, in the August 11, 2013 edition of The Press, a front page headline read, “Green slime arrives in waves.”

We were told not to be alarmed — at least, not yet. But, maybe now is the time.

Last week, about 500,000 residents who receive City of Toledo water had reason to be alarmed because their tap water was shut off for two days because it was contaminated by a toxin produced by an algae bloom in Lake Erie.

The green water in the western basin of Lake Erie results from an invasive algae bloom. While not all algae is harmful, the type seen in the huge blooms in the western part of Lake Erie and other inland Ohio lakes can produce nerve and liver toxins, which are especially dangerous for pets, children, the elderly and those with comprised immune systems.

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While the water consumption ban by the City of Toledo dragged on, personnel at the Northwestern Water and Sewer District were discussing how to construct an emergency connection to link the Perrysburg water system, which receives water from Toledo, to the Bowling Green system.

The district had started plans on a temporary connection to provide parts of the City of Perrysburg with potable water from the Bowling Green treatment plant, said Jerry Greiner, district president.

The district purchases Toledo water for its customers in the northwest portion of Wood County – with most of those customers located west of I-280. Customers to the east, for the most part receive water from the City of Oregon, which, like Bowling Green, wasn’t affected by the water advisory.

Tom Stalter, district engineer, said ideas for the temporary link included some above ground pipe and connections between hydrants. Liability questions were a concern as well as engineering issues, he said.

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This was just supposed to be another normal work day for Waite senior lineman Jovan Sanson.

He was headed to the McDonald’s on Main Street in East Toledo when he got the news that Toledo’s water supply was unsafe.

“I was on my way to work Saturday morning when I heard about it,” Sanson said. “We turned on the radio. I didn’t get a chance to turn on the TV before work because I woke up a little late. I heard it on the radio and got to work and found out how serious it was. It was pretty crazy.”

Sanson’s senior teammate, quarterback Jeremy Pratt, checked his cell phone as soon as he got off work from Taco Bell at 3 a.m. Friday night/Saturday morning. He said he received quite a shock.

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