WEATHER STATUS: The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch in effect until 6 p.m. this evening and a high wind warning in effect until 5 a.m. Thursday morning. Showers and possible severe thunderstorms are expected across Greater Cincinnati Wednesday afternoon with high winds expected on Wednesday and Thursday. Sustained winds could be 30 to 35 mph. Wind gusts could reach 65 mph.
The Weather Service warns that trees and limbs will be especially susceptible to the winds because of the recent ice storm and because the ground is saturated with the melted snow. That could mean more power outages across the area. Citizens should inspect areas around homes and yards for loose tree limbs and have emergency supplies and medication on hand should there be any power outages.
OPERATIONS STATUS: When winds reach 55 MPH, a risk of uprooted trees and considerable structural damage exists. The City of Cincinnati is taking precautions to minimize damage and prepare for potential cleanup efforts in response to the weather:
- The City has been in communication with Duke Energy to coordinate potential response to the weather.
- The City has a team staffing the Regional Operation Center that is monitoring the weather and prepared to coordinate our response.
- Public Services employees are on alert and ready to respond. City Crews have been fueling vehicles and prepping equipment for the potential cleanup resulting from the high winds expected.
- Communicated Tuesday afternoon with all city employees to ensure that we were prepared for the weather (See Attached).
- The City will continue to monitor the weather and prepare strategically for dealing with the event as it passes through our area.
HOW CITIZENS CAN PREPARE AND REDUCE RISK: Take precautions to prepare for the potential wind event which is likely to hit our area this afternoon.
- Bring in unsecured objects from patios and balconies and secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture or garbage cans that could blow away and cause damage or injury.
- Anticipate the potential for road closures, bridge closures, power outages, and downed trees.
- Contact vendors to know the proper use of home generators.
- Find out who in your area might need special assistance, specifically the elderly, disabled, and non-English speaking neighbors.
- Know what emergency plans are in place at your workplace, school and daycare center.
- Assemble a disaster supply kit and conduct a home safety evaluation, including the garage door, and nearby trees. If you have an electric garage door opener, locate the manual override.
- Wind damage can result in downed trees and power lines. Citizens need to anticipate and avoid these obstacles when driving and report them to 591-6000 so that the area can be made safe.