LIMA — Heavy winds and a downpour tore through the Lima region Wednesday morning, leaving hundreds without electricity throughout much of the day.
Trees and power lines were reported down throughout the area. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center reported the storm caused structural damage to a modular home, with roof damage and a collapsed porch near Lima.
Bath schools closed as a result of electrical outages.
At 8:15 a.m., American Electric Power Ohio reported a number of outages in the region on its map. It had 33 outages in Lima alone, down from 35 an hour and a half before, with 686 customers still without power.
By 4:15 p.m., 224 customers remained without power in Lima. By comparison, 137 Findlay residents were without electricity at the same time.
Midwest Electric reported 601 customers without power Wednesday morning, heavily in Sugar Creek Township in Allen County (177 customers) and Amanda Township (151). By early evening, just four customers remained without power in Allen County, along with 53 in Mercer County and two in Van Wert County.
Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative reported that only one customer was without electricity in Ottawa. There were no outages reported by 4 p.m.
Across the state, some 10,000 AEP customers were without power early Wednesday evening. That number was down from 20,000 reported outages in the morning. An AEP spokeswoman said she expected most areas in Ohio would have power returned by midnight, with the exception of Portsmouth in Scioto County, which experienced flooding issues.
The AEP spokesperson said heavy winds caused trees to topple over, which downed power poles and wires. Flooding also created issues, as AEP officials had difficulties reaching certain areas for cleanup.
The power outages caused the Wednesday edition of The Lima News to be delayed. The outage, coupled with a systems issue, delayed printing for about six hours Wednesday morning. The majority of newspapers were delivered by mid-afternoon, though some areas would not receive their Wednesday paper until Thursday.
Police and fire agencies in Allen, Auglaize and Mercer counties reported widespread damage to trees and power poles. Numerous trees were blown over, some landing in driveways, yards and roadways. However, an official with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said they received no calls related to storm damage.
No agency reported injuries, though some property damage occurred. The majority of damage happened between midnight and 4 a.m., according to multiple reports. In Mercer County, the sheriff’s office reported most damage was contained to roofs. An official said residential properties received some shingle damage, as did Rockford Carry Out in Rockford.
The Findlay Airport reported wind speeds of 58 mph overnight Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center’s weather reports.
The National Weather Service also issued a wind advisory until 10 p.m. Wednesday in Allen, Putnam and Van Wert counties. The Weather Service stated wind gusts of 35 to 45 miles per hour were expected throughout the evening.
“Hopefully that won’t hinder the cleanup process, as well as create new outages,” AEP spokesperson Fay White said early Wednesday evening.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.