Severe weather threat enters area
by Wayne Allen
PDT Staff Report
According to the National Weather Service, Scioto, Pike, Adams, Jackson and Lawrence Counties in Ohio are under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch. Greenup County in Kentucky is also under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch. For each county, the watch expires at 6 a.m.
A severe thunderstorm as defined by the National Weather Service is a storm with hail equal to or larger than 3/4 of an inch in diameter or convective wind gusts equal to or greater than 58 miles per hour. Even if a storm is not severe, it still remains a potential killer. Lightning, flash flooding, wind blown hail (even small hail), and general thunderstorm wind gusts pose a threat to life and/or property. Severe thunderstorms also have the potential of producing a tornado with little or no advanced tornado warning.
Power outages often accompany severe thunderstorms.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is reminds Ohioans exercise caution during power outages. Downed electric lines, equipment and vegetation can potentially be hazardous and should be avoided.
Do not attempt to touch or move downed electrical lines and equipment. Downed lines pose a serious hazard to anyone who comes in contact with them and can be deadly. Immediately report downed lines to emergency responders and your local utility. Do not attempt to move fallen debris in the vicinity of a downed power line and keep at a safe distance at all times.
Additional safety tips during a power outage include:
•If using a generator, be sure it is properly ventilated to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
•Do not attempt to use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.
•Unplug electrical devices in case of a power surge. Leave one lamp on so you know when power has been restored.
•If possible, use only battery-powered light sources for emergency lighting instead of candles. Matches, lighters and candles are fire hazards.
•Check on your neighbors, friends and family to ensure they are okay.
•Call an electrician if you have standing water near electrical wiring or appliances. Do not enter the flooded area.
For additional safety tips during electrical power outages, visit the Ohio Emergency Management Association’s website at www.ema.ohio.gov.
To review the PUCO’s guide to being prepared for power outages, please visit the PUCO website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov.
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