By Mike Ullery
column is a little belated. I got sidetracked by last week’s 2012
Dayton Air Show so my apologies to those deserving folks who are my
subject this week.
As we enjoy our recent respite from last week’s
heat wave, our memories of the wind storms of June 29 and July 1 are
beginning to recede, but all we have to do is look around us as we
travel through the city and evidence of the storm’s fury is still
The storms took a heavy toll in both the city and
county. A number of folks suffered property damage and there were also
injuries related to the Friday storm.
It is difficult to find anyone who was not without electricity at some point during the storms.
you have not done so already, the next time that you see one of our
city workers, in particular those who work for Piqua Power Distribution,
take a minute to shake their hand and thank them for a job well-done.
fact that Piqua has its own power plant gave us a leg up on everyone.
In spite of unprecedented electric supply failures due to the storm, our
distribution people had a majority of the city back up and running in
just three hours.
Those same hard-working individuals, after
making emergency repairs, began the long and difficult task of getting
power restored to all customers and replacing destroyed poles,
transformers and equipment. They operated on little sleep or even time
away from work, until everything was repaired or replaced and the
citizens of our community could get back to business as usual.
streets and parks departments people also did, and are continuing to
do, an outstanding job of removing and cleaning up the hundreds upon
hundreds of trees and branches that were down everywhere we looked.
Railroad tracks, roadways, sidewalks and bike paths were all blocked by
trees and our city crews worked diligently to clean up after Mother
The fire department, taking the storm, and subsequent
flood of calls for service in stride, responded to everything from a man
who was injured when the truck he was sitting in was struck by a large
tree, to calls of power lines and transformers on fire.
department was also busy checking out dangerous situations such as
reports of downed power lines. Minutes after the storm subsided, Chief
Bruce Jamison and City Manager Gary Huff were out working alongside
their fellow city workers, blocking off streets where downed trees and
power lines posed a risk to motorists and placing orange traffic cones
to alert motorists and pedestrians to possible danger.
some of the least noticed but most overwhelmed workers the nights of
those storms were the men and women in the Miami County 9-1-1 call
center. The number of calls received during the storms was nearly
astronomical, yet they sorted through the calls to “triage” and
determine which of the hundreds of calls were emergency status and which
could be handled later.
It should be noted that most every one of
the city and county workers who were on the job that weekend, working
overtime and on little sleep, did so in spite of the fact that they,
too, had families and property that needed attention as they also coped
with issues from the storms.
That weekend was not a whole lot of
fun for anyone. Many people suffered property damage.
injuries from the event were minor. Most everyone was inconvenienced to
Looking back, one of the things that strikes me most
is the teamwork that came into play. Every department within the city
and county came together to keep all of us safe, to protect us from
danger following the event, to begin the job of repairing and cleaning,
almost before the storm clouds moved away.
A huge and heart-felt
thank you to everyone, public employees and civilians alike, who pitched
in as one team to get us through our spell of rough weather. And, an
equal thank you to the families of all of these hard-working men and
women. You know that your spouse/dad/mom’s job keeps them away from home
at some of the most trying times but you manage to keep things going at