MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Dept. of Transportation crews have been busy helping with tornado recovery the past two weeks, and the director told 2 NEWS that will continue to be their top priority for the remainder of June.
Dr. Jack Marchbanks, ODOT’s director, is a native of West Dayton and said seeing some places he remembers from his childhood devastated by the tornadoes hurts his heart, but assured residents that work is being done.
Tuesday afternoon, Marchbanks was at the ODOT site in Englewood for a luncheon to give a quick thank you to the crews before they headed back out to work.
“Our crews have been working 12-hour shifts seven days a week,” said Marchbanks. “They’ve removed tons of debris, and we expect this cleanup effort to last throughout the end of the month.”
Marchbanks said it is a statewide effort, but the 130 workers in District 7 are able to handle a lot of the work themselves.
But he said there is help from outside districts, especially in District 8 which serves Beavercreek, which was also an area hit by Memorial Day tornadoes.
“When we’re doing this work, there’s other work we can’t do, but this is a priority because it was an extraordinary event,” said Marchbanks. “15 twisters in one region, that’s unheard of, unprecedented, so we will take the time and do what we need to do to help this community.”
Marchbanks said after debris is cleaned up, they will begin working on infrastructure, and are already seeking emergency federal funds for the work.
“Replace high mast lighting, sheet metal signs and traffic signals that were blown down,” said Marchbanks. “We have a lot of work to do, but we expend the money up front and then ask for reimbursement where it’s qualified.”
After the luncheon, Marchbanks planned to tour some damaged areas and talk to residents, he said especially Trotwood where his family still lives, and his crews were working Tuesday afternoon.