LOGAN COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — With severe weather in our forecast for several days, local emergency management agencies are wanting to prepare residents on how to weather the storms.
The City of Bellefontaine said they are monitoring the weather and have safety forces on duty for 24 hours to answer emergency calls.
The Logan County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) said there are several areas, including the Mad River Mountain area and Indian Lake, that may be more prone to flooding and drivers need to be aware.
“Five inches of rain within an hour will flash flood anybody especially if the land is already saturated, the biggest thing is to stay aware of what’s coming in,” said Logan County EMA Director Helen Norris.
With severe weather aimed towards the northern region of the Miami Valley over the next couple of days, Logan County EMA is warning residents that flash flooding is a real possibility. Severe storms can throw debris into roadways and bring down power lines, but officials want to remind drivers of Senate Bill 106.
The bill went into effect March 2015. The law prohibits drivers from guiding their vehicles into clearly marked flooded roadways. Drivers could pay a $2,000 fine to cover rescue costs. The bill, which had the backing of the Emergency Management Association of Ohio and the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association, was inspired by the 2006 death of volunteer swift water rescuer Allan “Buzz” Anderson in Lorain County who died during an attempt to rescue two stranded teens. The teens survived.
“The fine will be given to the responders who put their lives at risk to save you so we want everyone to be safe and not injured, and if we can save you a couple of bucks, that’s the plan,” said Norris.
Right now, officials say residents need to be downloading alert notifications to ensure when the storm hits, you’ll know right away.
“Choose anything you want and get weather alerts for your area so you can stay informed if something severe is coming in, you’ll know it and take shelter,” said Norris.
Bellefontaine City’s Safety Services said utility outages should be reported to utility providers.
If residents are in a life threatening situation, call 911. If it is not an emergency, do not call 911. Other non-emergency services can be reported to the police department’s business line or the fire department.