Heavy winds leave thousands without power

Posted at 2:48 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 23:51:38-05

Nearly 8,000 Duke Energy customers were without power at one point Friday afternoon, after strong, gusting winds came through the area.

The area was under a wind advisory for several hours Friday. Sustained winds were 15 to 25 miles per hour from the southwest, but some were gusting up to 45 miles per hour.


Duke Energy reported widespread outages across Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

Sally Thelen, spokeswoman for Duke Energy, said crews worked as quickly as possible to restore power.

"From the snow on the ground from last weekend, a lot of the ground is saturated," she said. "Any light wind is going to have the potential to take over a tree, which in turn would potentially hit some of our lines and take out customers, and that's what we have sort of been seeing today."

In Loveland, a neighbor told Betty Merrill to rush home because a tree had toppled into her garage. No one was home at the time, but the family had left their dog in their backyard because of the warm weather. The tree narrowly missed him.

"No one was hurt," Merrill said. "It fell a little bit on our bedroom, but I don't think in a way where it will leak badly or cause any damage. We can sleep in there, we can still live in there."

Contractors were "bombarding" the house all afternoon, Merrill said. Though it cost $800 to get the tree of the house Friday night, she said she and her husband were trying to be smart and get the best estimate from a reputable contractor to do repairs.

"It could be worse, a lot worse, and it's really a beautiful day for it to have happened," Merrill said.

Beejay and Jim Draffen won't have power for days after a massive tree toppled at their home on Cincinnati-Dayton Road in West Chester. The first step is to get a certified electrician to fix their meter box.

"It took down everything and crushed my back porch, crushed my garage," Jim Draffen said.

"Put a hole in the garage, through cement," Beejay Draffen said.

"Through 6 inches of cement," Jim added.