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Officials: Ohio tornadoes led to sewage release in river

Posted at 11:14 AM, Jun 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-07 11:14:56-04

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Officials say 4.7 million gallons of untreated sewage was released into a river during Ohio's Memorial Day tornado outbreak.

The Dayton Daily News reports county sewer workers had to divert wastewater directly into the Stillwater River after two pump stations lost power during the storms.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed and many more were damaged during the outbreak that saw at least 18 tornadoes touch down in western Ohio.

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Dina Pierce is a spokeswoman for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. She says existing river water and additional rainfall diluted the sewage and moved it downstream through the Great Miami River. Pierce says for that reason officials didn't sample the river for contamination.

Federal workers have begun assessing tornado damage.