NORTH LEWISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) – Thousands of people in the Miami Valley were still without power Wednesday afternoon after Monday’s storm.
North Lewisburg in Champaign County opened two cooling shelters to give people affected by the outage a place to go.
“The village of North Lewisburg was really on top of this quickly and they had a request for assistance in to us early on,” Champaign County EMA Director Jim Freeman said.
One of the shelters is located in the North Lewisburg Municipal Building and the other at Triad Middle School.
“We have these big buildings that are sitting here with our kids all gone, and so it’s great to have a place that we can bring them that does have air and electric, that they could charge phones and things like that,” Triad Local School Superintendent Vickie Hoffman said.
The cooling shelters have toiletries, towels, food and water for people when they arrive. Many of the items were donated to provide relief from the heat.
The American Red Cross also helped by providing supplies to run the shelters.
“They did bring a trailer full of cots and shelter materials up for them,” Freeman said. “We split those up between the two sites.”
Hoffman said 30 people were in and out of the shelter since it opened Tuesday afternoon.
That included Wendy Scott and her family, who stayed at the shelter overnight when their home lost power.
“They give us food and hot showers – we took one this morning – and then places to relax and sleep, and I mean, it’s very appreciative and nice,” Scott said.
Scott said it’s been frustrating not knowing when the power will come back on, but her family is thankful they have somewhere they can stay.
“It’s depressing, I mean, being away from home is being away from home,” Scott said. “Nobody wants to not be home, you know, especially in your own bed at night. But, we’re grateful for what we have here.”
Hoffman said the district does whatever it can to help the community when they’re in need. She arranged a potluck Wednesday evening for anyone in the community, whether they had power or not.
“We will have lots of people in here getting a warm meal and being able to charge their phones, take showers, whatever is needed,” Hoffman said.
Power has been restored to all Pioneer customers in the area by the afternoon. AES Ohio had 90 crews out Wednesday working to restore power and anticipated all power to be restored by midnight.