The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Sep. 22, 2019

Lessons to be learned from hurricane

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

A security camera shows floodwaters rushing into the Port Authority Trans-Hudson's Hoboken, N.J. station through an elevator shaft. (NY/NJ Port Authority photo)

Van Wert County Emergency Management/Homeland Security Director Rick McCoy said there were a lesson to be drawn from Hurricane Sandy, and that was to heed the information being put out and prepare for disaster.

“We had been tracking it, knowing it was going to come our way,” McCoy said of the storm, while also noting that winds here were calmer than expected, compared to southern portions of Ohio and Indiana, where winds were clocked at 69 mph.

“We were expecting 55 mile-per-hour winds, which were a concern because they could have caused power outages and structural damage,” he said, adding that the county did have winds of approximately 40 mph, but that was not high enough for any significant damage. The county also saw about a tenth of an inch of snow and some light rain, although the snow didn’t stick on the warmer ground.

That made Van Wert County and northwest Ohio somewhat unique, since even neighboring communities saw some significant snowfall from Hurricane Sandy. McCoy said St. Marys in Auglaize County had an inch of snow on the ground, while Bellefontaine in Logan County had 3½ inches of the white stuff, although most of the snow melted away fairly quickly.

“We were surely blessed right here, compared to other areas,” he added.

The forecast looks a little rainy for the next could of days, McCoy said, with temperatures remaining in the 40s for highs and down to the 30s at night. That will change by the weekend, when highs of 50 are expected.

The EMA/Homeland Security director said there were quite a few lessons to be learned from Hurricane Sandy, noting that the superstorm was forecast well ahead of time, giving people time to prepare for it — although he said he felt more people should have taken heed of the potential for problems associated with the storm.

“This storm was well forecast way out ahead of time, with computer models showing it coming together for a superstorm,” McCoy explained. “Everybody knew; everybody was warned; if they didn’t take heed, that was maybe for some a very big mistake, as much as this was put out to the public that this was going to be bad.”

McCoy said Hurricane Sandy and the derecho windstorm that brought damage to a wide area of Ohio and then did the same on the East Coast earlier this year were weather events that “wake up” people to the need to prepare for such disasters.

It’s a message he said he hopes people take to heart, noting that listening to weather warnings and making preparations for disasters are critical to how well people weather such storms.

POSTED: 10/31/12 at 7:21 am. FILED UNDER: News